IT is now or never for Oxford Chargers as they face Kent Royals with their play-off hopes on the line.

Jason Crump and Peter Schroeck’s side must beat the south east outfit at Sandy Lane (7.30pm) to keep alive their chances of finishing in the top four of the National Development League.

Even if they win, Chargers must hope Belle Vue Colts – one place above them in fourth – only secure a single point from their remaining meetings at Kent and Armadale Devils.

Captain Jordan Jenkins returns from injury to boost the hosts, although fans’ favourite Nathan Stoneman remains out with a shoulder issue.

But with six of his seven riders available, joint team manager Schroeck is confident his side can put the pressure on Belle Vue.

“We’ve got to keep believing,” he said.

“It would be nice to be in control of our own fate, but the reality is we don’t have that luxury.

“What we are in control of is tonight’s meeting and doing everything possible to collect three points and put the pressure on Belle Vue Colts.

“We’re the only team to have beaten Kent at their home track this season, so it goes without saying that they’ll be fired up for this one.

“Having Jordan (Jenkins) back in the squad is a boost, but we’ll need a complete performance if our play-off hopes are to remain alive.

“We have the talent, we just need to put it into practice.”

Only ten league points separate the division’s top six teams with six fixtures remaining this season – making it one of the most competitive campaigns in recent years.

Ahead of this evening’s showdown, Schroeck paid tribute to the commitment and determination displayed by all teams and riders in the third tier and believes the future is looking bright.

“It’s been a challenging league on track for all teams, not just ourselves,” he said.

“Armadale and Plymouth have struggled at times, but the top six are all capable of beating each other over two legs.

“It’s testament to the talent British Speedway is producing and how riders can quickly adapt to different surfaces and tracks.

"The National League can confidently state to be one of the world’s best development leagues.

“The likes of Tai Woffinden, Dan Bewley and Robert Lambert have all graduated from this level and are now enjoying successful careers at Grand Prix level.

“Regardless of if we make the play-offs this year, there is a bigger picture to our participation and we’re pleased with the progress our riders have made.”