SPEEDWAY: ALAN Mogridge will be back for the Stoke Potters when they take on Belle Vue in the British League Cup at Loomer Road tonight, writes NEIL EVANS.
Mogridge's return to the side is a boost to a team that have struggled to cover for him. But the good news has been dampened by the shock revelation that Robbie Kessler will miss the rest of the season.
The German international has been out for several weeks after breaking his arm riding in Sweden. Kessler had an operation in Germany which was not successful.
He tried laser treatment and will go to Doncaster Hospital next Friday for a bone graft.
'It is yet another blow which somehow typifies our season,' said promoter Dave Tattum, who now intends to bring in a replacement.
'That's easier said than done,' he said. 'But it's the route we will take and hopefully we might have rejigged the team around by this weekend.
'It's not easy to find riders who can come in and do a job straight away. We have tried numerous riders already without getting very far - but all we can do is keep trying.'
The Potters suffered two rain-offs and a heavy defeat at Somerset last week.
The away fixture at Belle Vue was abandoned after four heats and then the home meeting against Exeter was called off in mid-morning due to a waterlogged track.
Comments on the Potters' website by nameless supporters, suggesting that the meeting had been called off unnecessarily, angered Tattum.
'The vast majority of our supporters are brilliant, but there are a small minority who cannot help having a go at us,' stormed Tattum.
'That track had been underwater and there is no way that we could have got it ready to run a safe meeting, with the emphasis on safety.
'How come these supporters, who don't even put their name to these comments, know better than we do?
'It's childish comments like that from people who have no idea of the true situations that disrupt so much of what we are trying to do here.
'I know results haven't gone our way. But our injury list has been horrendous and we will continue to search for replacements this week in an effort to turn things around.'
Potters face big rivals Sheffield at home on Saturday.