ALUN Rossiter has admitted he may have been a little harsh in his criticism of Simon Gustafsson but feels vindicated following the Swede’s resurgence over the last week.
The Robins boss questioned the Swede’s desire following a string of lacklustre displays at the start of the season, bringing his place in the Robins team into doubt, but Gustafsson has responded in style with 15 points at Eastbourne on Saturday followed by a further eight at Blunsdon against Belle Vue on Monday.
Rossiter has been impressed by the new-look Gustafsson, who pulled off a string of tough moves to win many of his 23 points in the last two meetings, and believes the Swede can still prove to be a trump card between now and the end of the season.
“I was hard on Simon, I gave him a hard time over it but I think it was justified,” he said. “But look what happened.
“There are some things you have to say and, while there is a line, he needed to up his game to be fair and he knew it.
“He knows he has to beat the draft riders and that’s what he’s done the last two meetings. He looked good on Monday and I’m really pleased with that.
“It wasn’t just the points it was the way he rode and how he looked, Simon looked hungry and was chasing. Those are the main things.
“Simon was my trump man when I put the team together, he still can be and if he carries on like that he will be.”
As well as contributing eight points to his team on Monday night the Swede also provided young reserve Nathan Greaves with the bike he rode to victory in heat two, drawing more praise from his team manager.
“Not many riders would be rushing out to lend a bike to a junior like that so it’s very impressive from Simon to be fair,” he said.
“Nathan had a few crashes in the past so full credit to Simon. He’s a good team man and that’s what we’re after.”
The Robins are next in action on Monday when they travel to Birmingham for a televised clash at Perry Barr on Monday evening.