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"Gobsmacked" Geer aims to bounce back
Trevor Geer admits he was gobsmacked to see his Eastbourne team go 20-4 down at home.
But the Eagles boss is confident normal service will be resumed at Arlington when they are restored to seven riders against Wolverhampton tonight (7.30pm).
Edward Kennett stands in for injured No.1 Joonas Kylmakorpi and reserve Timo Lahto has shrugged off back and toe pains suffered in the Good Friday morning defeat at Lakeside.
The reverse in Essex was not a surprise but Eagles must win over their home fans after a 51-45 setback in the evening’s return fixture at Arlington.
They used rider-replacement for Kylmakorpi against the Hammers and Geer believes that took its toll on his six riders.
The Eagles boss said: “We knew it would be tough but what happened was very disappointing.
“I’ve never seen anything like the start of the home meeting when they had four 5-1s.
“I was just gobsmacked. To start a meeting like that was unheard of.
“It’s so hard covering for rider-replacement when you have got one or more riders having an off day.
“I think every rider was confident he was going to be one who would go out there and turn it around for us but it didn’t happen until it was too late. We were missing gates and making mistakes.”
Kylmakorpi’s cracked collarbone has healed but he still faces some time out due to a shoulder injury which is restricting his arm movement.
He is staying in Spain and undergoing regular treatment from his specialist in Girona but has set no exact target date for a comeback.
Eagles have made a surprising choice as his guest for trips to Wolves and Peterborough next week in Danny King of Birmingham.
A change in rules means they are limited to a rider whose average is equal to or lower than Kylmakorpi’s 7.61.
Teams previously had an allowance of 5%, meaning they could go to about 7.9 to cover for the Finn, but this now only applies to guests for home meetings. King averages a modest 6.41.
Geer said: “It is not just about averages. I look at who is going well.”
Eagles: Kennett, Dryml, Gustafsson, Woodward, Bridger, Gizatullin, Lahti.
Wolverhampton: Lindgren, Aspgren, Klindt, Proctor, Woffinden, Wells, Sowka.