Darius Defoe insisted Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles will get to the bottom of the below-par display that led to a first defeat in eight games.

The talismanic forward admitted hurt and disappointment will drive the men in black to bounce back from a shock loss against Surrey Scorchers.

And Defoe reassured the Eagles faithful that it will be business as usual by the time Bristol rock up on Tyneside this Friday.


In a frank assessment of Friday’s 93-88 defeat, the most decorated player in British Basketball League history conceded: “We shouldn’t be losing games like that at home.

“It was a tough one to take and something we’ll be thinking about all weekend.

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“But this is a tough league. This year there’s a lot of competition and teams are regularly picking up losses.


“We just have to regroup and get ready to go again.”

Defoe rolled back the years to hit five successive first half field goals in front of a sell-out Vertu Motors Arena crowd.

And six homecourt players hit double figures as a Newcastle side renowned for sharing the ball continued to keep the Scorchers’ defence guessing.

But a close contest was ultimately decided by Surrey’s success from three-point range, the visitors’ dominance under the glass and nerveless finishing from the bonus stripe.


“It’s always tough playing teams back-to-back and there are no guarantees that the result will be the same,” added Defoe as he sought to explain a stark reversal in fortunes.

Newcastle had dominated the corresponding fixture just six days earlier but Lloyd Gardner’s men pulled off the perfect revenge mission.

“Surrey came here with a plan and it was obvious that they set out to be aggressive with us from the start,” agreed Defoe.

“We’ll have to go back, look at the video, see what really happened and move on.”

Scorchers’ strongarm tactics worked a treat with the visitors more than happy to give up 21 fouls in their quest for a vital away win.

At one stage Surrey were out-fouling the Eagles three to one but Newcastle failed to capitalise on sustained spells in the bonus.

At the other end of the court Gardner’s men hit 18 of their 19 free throws — including a flurry of late buckets from the bonus stripe.

“We have to look at ourselves in the mirror, take responsibility for the loss and regroup,” added Defoe.

“It’s basketball. You win some and you lose some.

“Everyone needs to keep their heads up and focus on what we’ve been doing right for the last five or six weeks.

“Surrey is one defeat. I know the guys will be hurting because we’ve set ourselves such high standards but it’s important that we don’t overreact.”

Newcastle had a clear week in the build-up to the Surrey clash — a rarity for a side that faced a hectic November schedule.

But Defoe remained unconvinced that the sudden easing of fixtures and a prolonged period at home may have adversely affected the Eagles’ momentum.

“I wouldn’t say it was a quieter week as such,” he added. “We practiced hard and made the most of some much-needed time together.

“It’s true that we came out of a schedule where we played a lot of games without much of a break and then suddenly found ourselves without a game for six days.

“Maybe that’s affected the momentum. We’ll have to work out why we played that way against Surrey. Something wasn’t quite right.”

Early-season pace-setters Bristol head north on Friday having seen their impressive form checked by a combination of key injuries and a punishing schedule.

The Eagles and fellow ENBL hopefuls Flyers are locked at 1-1 this season following a brace of fixtures at the SGS WISE Arena.

And Defoe added: “Bristol is a game we’re already looking forward to.

“We know we have to bounce back and be ready to play in front of another full house.

“It’s important that we get the win.”

Tickets for this Friday night are selling fast and are available now from the box office.