Esh Group Eagles Newcastle go in to Friday’s BBL Trophy 1st round match v Surrey Scorchers on the back of two consecutive BBL Championship road losses at Plymouth and Glasgow, a situation The Eagles don’t often find themselves in writes Jeff King.
USA Power Forward Terry Martin summed up the mood in the camp following those two defeats.
“Focused. We’re trying to get back on track and smooth out the little things. Even though we lost both games by a decent margin it was all because of a bunch of little things. That’s what we’re trying to iron out right now.”
“We’ve spent the last week going over them, watching a lot of film and trying to pick out all the little mistakes and fix it.”
The loss at Plymouth was a bad one but it came on the back of a long trip, two games in two days and the loss of Kai Williams just before tip-off so almost an excusable defeat. The galling loss though for Martin and his team-mates was the one last Friday at Glasgow.
The Eagles went in to that game with all eleven players ready and able to play after a full week’s practice and faced a Rocks side that was down a player with no starting point guard in place.
“Glasgow was tough but even with the Plymouth loss there’s no acceptable way to lose. With the Glasgow game they just came out with more energy and we just didn’t perform how we’re supposed to perform and it’s a tough pill to swallow but it’s one you have to take.”
“Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall your way and it’s not about what you do when the ball doesn’t fall your way, it’s about how you respond to it and that’s what we’re working on.
Martin himself came to Tyneside with a glowing CV and high hopes of showcasing his talents in the European game. How does he feel he’s responding to the challenge, especially coming off the bench?
“With me it’s never been about starting, it’s all about how you effect the game. Although I haven’t been as offensively productive as I feel I should have been or I could have been, I’m working on that and I’m working on getting in to a rhythm.”
“The team is working on getting me in to a rhythm as well which is nice as the team is coming together and even though it would have been nice to have had the perfect season, sometimes you need a tough game or loss to build character.”
Character is a good word to describe a team full of talent that just needs to learn how to use all of it’s parts to move forward as a cohesive unit, a point Martin makes well.
“Everybody has their moment and sometimes even though you always want to be on the floor as a competitor you understand that everyone is important and right now has to do what is needed to get us back winning.”
It’s obvious from Martin’s determined and focused demeanour that going in to Friday’s game his team-mates and he are looking to bounce back in front of their own fans.