Bjarne Pedersen admits he got off lightly after a first-bend smash.

But the Eastbourne No. 1 wishes it had not hindered his team’s chances of a rare away point.

Eagles return home tonight to take on Elite League new boys Leicester knowing only three points will do.

They cannot afford to drop any points at home because they are not picking up any on the road.

That continued to be the case emphatically at Wolverhampton on Monday after Pedersen and Timo Lahti crashed just a few yards into the opening race.

Both picked themselves up but Pedersen struggled in the re-run and his subsequent race before calling it a night.

He was feeling dizzy at the time but recovered in time to race in Sweden on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Then he dropped just one point in five rides for his Danish track Holstebro yesterday.

Pedersen said: “We had this first-bend coming together and I just hit my head.

“I felt I was okay straight afterwards but after a while I realised I was really struggling to concentrate.

“When I went back out for the re-run I felt pretty bad.

“When everything is happening quickly and you are busy you don’t really think about how you are feeling.

“But, when you get a few minutes to sit down and wait, you realise how you are feeling.

“You could see how I was doing when I was beaten by a reserve in my second race.

“So I thought it was best to take myself out of the meeting.

“It wasn’t helping me or the team if I just went out and ran lasts.”

Pedersen admits the new injury rider replacement rule helped ease the disappointment of pulling out.

Riders ruled out during meetings can now have their remaining rides taken by any team-mate with a lower average.

Previously, the reserves would have to take all the remaining heats.

The Danish star said: “I think that is quite a fair system.

“You still feel a bit like you let the team down when you pull out of a meeting but you don’t feel so bad.”

Pedersen admits he is baffled by Eagles’ woes away from Arlington.

Bjarne Pedersen (red) and Cameron Woodward (blue) enjoy a 5-1 in Denmark yesterday

But he reckons there is still time to put it right, especially if they keep taking maximum points at home.

He said: “Things aren’t working for us away from home. Joonas (Kylmakorpi) fell at Birmingham last week when we nearly got a point and I fell at Wolverhampton.

“We absolutely need to get three points against Leicester, and in all our home meetings, there is no doubt about that.

“But I still think we are a strong team. I can’t see why we cannot pick up a couple of away wins.

“That might be all we need if we keep our run going at home.”

Eagles fans have complained their team have been up against weakened opponents in recent home meetings.

That should not be a problem this time.

Leicester have brought in Rory Schlein as guest for the injured Patrick Hougaard.

It is a change which strengthens a Lions side led by Jason Doyle.

Eagles boss Trevor Geer said: “We have the opportunity to battle with full strength opposition and show what we can do.”

Eagles; Pedersen, Lahti, Kylmakorpi, Woodward, Michelsen, Blackbird, Halsey.

Leicester: Doyle, L.Bjerre, Korneliussen, Stead, Schlein, Clegg, Perry.

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