Chris Bunten insists Newcastle Eagles WBBL head into 2019 ready to right the wrongs that derailed a promising start to a landmark season.
The experienced playcaller is confident that better game management will give his side a much-needed mid-season boost.
And this weekend’s homecourt double header provides the perfect platform to put that theory into practice.
“Over the Christmas break I’ve had a chance to analyse all of our games and most of our problems have been self-inflicted,” said Bunten ahead of today’s clash against Manchester Mystics.
“We’re a talented team but we’ve made too many mistakes and we just need to manage certain situations better.
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“Of course we had a few key players missing towards the end of 2018 and that didn’t help but the bigger picture is that we have to be more focused.
“Defensively I know we can do better. This weekend I’ll be concentrating on the performances first and foremost and I believe the results will look after themselves.”
Bunten is without former Team GB star Steph Gandy for this weekend’s fixtures but will welcome back versatile forward Georgia Ohrdorf.
The energetic Aussie suffered a concussion last month but has returned to full training this week.
And Bunten added: “It’s great to have Georgia back. We’ll be monitoring her carefully and it may be a case of easing her back into action with limited minutes.
“But we missed her when she was absent and it’s great to have her back.”
On paper Newcastle are capable of beating both Manchester and tomorrow’s opponents Caledonia Pride but consistency has been a problem for the Eagles.
“Of course, I’d like to say both games are winnable but it really is about focusing on the performances rather than the results right now,” he added.
“There’s still a long way to go this season and I don’t want to become fixated on the league table.
“I know a 5-5 league record will look better than 3-7 on Monday morning but as long as we’re making progress on the court I’ll be happy.
“We’ve talked about what we need to do to become a better team and I’m looking forward to seeing my players respond in the right way.”
Both of this weekend’s WBBL games tip off at 4pm at Northumbria University’s Sport Central. Tickets are £5 on the door and entry is free for season ticket holders.