Sheffield Tigers bosses insist there is no pressure on their shoulders ahead of next week’s Grand Final title decider.
After the Tigers stunned Newcastle and Glasgow to reach the biggest team events of the Premier League season, club co-promoter Damien Bates says they’ve already exceeded all expectations.
And when they face Somerset over two legs - Tigers have provisionally set next Wednesday as the home leg with the return at the Oaktree Arena 24 hours later - Bates says his side should go out with no fear.
“We’ve done more than people expected by reaching the final,” he said. “What we’ve achieved over Newcastle and Glasgow has shocked the rest of the league, especially as we’re without three riders - and key riders at that.
“The guest replacements have come in and done a great job for us. We cannot thank them enough, and I’m working on the team for next week - I’ve actually got lads texting me saying they’d love to ride for us in a major final!
“I have to pay tribute to the four team members who have get us through, Kyle Howarth, Josh Bates, Arthur Sissis and young Nathan Greaves. They’ve put their heart and soul into it.
“All the pressure will be on Somerset. They finished top of the table. They finished 20 points clear of us and yet they know they still might not be champions.
“They will start as clear favourites - but so did Newcastle in the quarter-final and Glasgow in the semi and look what we achieved then!
“We have nothing to lose. We have to go out there, give it our best, enjoy our racing and see what happens.
“It’s been an amazing end to the season. Everyone said when (Jason) Garrity was ruled out that was season over, and again when Steady (Simon Stead) was injured – and yet here we are, in a Grand Final!
“Whatever happens, we’ve achieved lots! We can’t wait for next week.”