Alun Rossiter has highlighted the need for his Swindon Robins side to put in an emphatic display against Eastbourne Eagles at the Abbey Stadium tonight, as he looks to eradicate any fears in fans’ minds that the Elite League season could be a long, hard grind.

Four defeats in five outings, including two losses to Poole Pirates on Good Friday, has been a far-from-ideal start to the new campaign for Rossiter and the Robins but, having tweaked his line-up in more than one way this week, the Swindon manager is confident any doubts will soon be proven misplaced.

Rosco has drafted in Dakota North as a replacement for Nicolai Klindt and swapped Nick Morris and captain Troy Batchelor around in the order for the visit of the Eagles, and he’s anticipating a reaction from his septet.

He told the Advertiser: “I’m confident, with the change that we’ve made, we can get back to winning ways.

“With all the issues we had last year, the last thing we need to be doing is losing the supporters. I’d like to think that, even though it’s an early decision, the decision we’ve made shows we’re not sitting down and taking things lightly. We’re showing we do mean business; we do want to get back on track.

“Troy’s been doing okay. In fairness, they all didn’t turn up at Poole to a certain extent. We need a big performance from them. Nick had a bad run at Poole but generally he’s been doing okay.

“I’m confident the boys will be alright. Maybe with the lift, with Dakota coming in, we can kick on from here.”

The Robins were given a boost on Tuesday night with news Darryl Ritchings had returned home from hospital after being sedated for two weeks following a horrific crash on April 3, but Rossiter feels his team should already have all the motivation they need to secure a big victory this evening.

“People say ‘can you do it for Darryl?’ but at the end of the day we should be doing it for ourselves and our supporters,” he said. “We shouldn’t really need any motivation to do any better; we should be doing it anyway.”

The likes of Bjarne Pedersen, Cameron Woodward and Joonas Kylmarkorpi will pose a potent threat to the Robins, however, with Rossiter saying: “They’re a very good side. Bjarne rides the Abbey very well, Cameron Woodward guested for Coventry and did very well and then there’s Kylmakorpi. They’ve got some very good riders in there so it’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure.”