OXFORD Cheetahs end their three-week wait for a SGB Championship fixture when they host Newcastle Diamonds tonight (7.30pm).

Jason Crump’s side endured a mixed start to their first season since reforming, winning four of their 11 meetings – including away victories at this evening’s opponents and Birmingham Brummies.

Eighth-placed Cheetahs are outside the play-off positions, but coach Peter Schroeck hopes a strong showing against Newcastle can spark a turnaround in fortunes.

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“We’re not where we wanted to be in the table, but that’s testament to the competitive nature of Championship speedway,” he said.

“Our results against Birmingham prove just because you beat a team on the road does not guarantee you success at home.

“We need to be aware of this when Newcastle visit tonight. They will be disappointed with where they are in the table and determined to prove a point.

“We require a solid run of results between now and the middle of August if we’re to challenge for a play-off spot, so the hard work begins tonight.

“We’re racing more meetings at home between now and the end of the season, but that counts for little unless everyone is firing on all cylinders.

“Every rider has contributed so far, but we’re yet to get everyone racing to their true potential at the same time. When we unlock this, we know we can be a dangerous team.”

Cheetahs welcomed sizeable crowds to Sandy Lane in the first few weeks of the season, selling-out for the visits of Scunthorpe Scorpions and Poole Pirates.

Schroeck is keen to tap into Oxford’s ‘lost generation’ that missed out on speedway during the sport’s 15-year absence from the city.

“We’ve got a huge run of Championship fixtures coming up, and then the Summer Trophy to focus on,” he said.

“It’s been fantastic to see so many people living in the city who never experienced speedway before connect with the sport.

“Hopefully the outstanding racing our riders are delivering week-in, week-out can ensure our regeneration campaign continues to be a success.”