Newcastle Eagles’ nine-game winning streak will be under threat when they travel to Plymouth Raiders on Saturday, but Andrew Thomson believes it will be another step towards his team reaching their potential.
Eagles have been flawless since losing their opening game to Worcester Wolves and Thomson credits this to the players’ ability to quickly discover what it is they offer to the team.
But their progress will be tested on Saturday as they face a Raiders side, who have struggled for consistency – winning just one of their last five league games – but have no shortage of talent.
“We’re expecting a tough game, with the squad they have assembled they can be very dangerous,” said Thomson.
“You factor in the long trip down, and the atmosphere at Plymouth Pavilions, it’s never an easy place to play.
“They have a number of guys who can score and put up large numbers so we will have to work as a team and take away their primary offence and challenge every shot. This will be a good challenge for us and a step closer to where we want to be.”
Eagles are one of only three teams to have dropped just a single league game so far this season.
It has been an efficient adjustment period for the club, having welcomed a number of new faces, including Thomson, but he insists they still have work to do.
Thomson added: “The key to the good run in form is we have found our roles within the team.
“It’s been a learning process, integrating new players. We’re still not where we want to be but getting very close.
“This early in the season it’s very important not to drop any games, as in seasons past, if you lose five or more games, you’re out of the league race.”
Last time they met:
Newcastle Eagles 94 Plymouth Raiders 74 (BBL Championship, Sport Central, 07/03/2014)
What they say:
Raiders forward Nick George: “We played with a sense of urgency throughout the entire game (against Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday). I’m proud of our performance as it showed progress.
“We’re a confident team right now, and that will carry over into the game. Offensively we have a lot of weapons but defence will be key against Newcastle. When we play great defence we can compete with anyone.”
For information about tickets visit www.plymouthraiders.com.