Chris Bunten has pledged to address his anger management after taking the blame for a 72-60 defeat at the hands of Manchester Mystics.
The Team Northumbria playcaller was ejected from a feisty WBBL clash just three minutes from time and with TN trailing by four.
And a frank Bunten admitted he owed his team an apology after he was told to leave the TN bench for an unspecified offence.
“This is the first time I’ve been thrown out of a WBBL game and I’m not proud of it,” he said.
“My players need me there down the stretch and I told them afterwards that I would take full responsibility for a tough defeat.
“I’m not looking to make any excuses but all I would say is that I have no idea why I was ejected.
“I asked the referees for an explanation but they refused to speak to me. I was told I had been ejected and that was that.”
TN’s eight-game winning streak suddenly seems a world away with Bunten’s injury-ravaged roster slipping down the WBBL table.
However, the Commonwealth Games-bound playcaller offered some hope that a crippling injury list is finally easing.
“Hannah Shaw played 20 minutes in Manchester and eased herself back into competitive basketball,” added Bunten.
“That was good to see and a boost for everyone.
“Ali Gorrell and Kara Bonenberger are getting there and I’d like to think Ali could feature at some point against Cardiff next Sunday.
“We’ve got another big week coming up with the Stan Calvert Cup and I’m just looking for some positives right now.
“It’s been a really tough season for everyone but it finally looks like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.
“By the time we host Sevenoaks on March 4 I’d like to think we’ll have a full team out and we can be the first team to beat them this season.”
Report by Simon Rushworth