Newcastle Eagles travel north of the border to take on the Caledonia Gladiators this afternoon in a vital BBL Championship clash.
With a third of the season gone Newcastle still sit outside the play-off positions and are yet to get their campaign moving forward.
The team sitting one place above them? The Gladiators, emphasising the importance of the Eagles getting back to winning ways. Newcastle may be buoyed by the fact that the Gladiators got mauled by Leicester Riders 100 – 67 on Friday night but in reality they have to look after themselves and take care of their business.
Newcastle also go into the game on the back of a loss. Just over a week ago they won quarters two, three and four at home against Cheshire but had given their opponents a 31 – 11 start after the first and despite their recovery could not haul the gap back.
Point guard David Cohn covered that first game before previewing the task ahead of him and his teammates today.
“You have to try and take what consolation and positives you can. You have to look at yourself in the mirror and realistically look at what you did poorly and what you did well. We need to take what we did well in the final three quarters holding them to forty or so points.”
“We have to understand that’s the way it needs to be at all times. We can’t dig ourselves twenty-point holes. It’s not feasible to expect wins after being down twenty points after the first quarter.”
A lot has been made of the chopping, changing to the Eagles roster, and trying to acclimate new players on a regular basis into the squad and system. Cohn though feels that they are doing a good job of that and is encouraged by what he sees.
“To be honest practice is always good not matter what the personnel. We practice well as a group which is the strange part. We all believe if we keep sticking with it and sticking to it the wins will come and we’ll start to see the results on game days.”
“We’ve had a good week of practice; we had a good week last week and good ones before that. I’m just hoping we can carry that into the game against Caledonia.”
With just the one game to focus on this week and an extra day or so to consider what lies ahead of them Cohn is well aware that The Gladiators are a dangerous side.
“They have a lot of talent and a lot of nice pieces. But the coaches have done a good job as usual of scouting them, giving us what to look at and now it’s up to us. We have to do our jobs and hopefully take care of business on the road.”
“It’s a good challenge and I hope we can pull it off. I think we will. You don’t want to be overconfident and we obviously have a lot of respect for them and they’ve had some big wins this year. But we’re ready and looking forward to the challenge.”
With two/thirds of the season still to go Cohn is aware that the Eagles need to start winning soon to give themselves a chance to turn their season around.
“We all feel it. When you go down the line each and everyone of us feels it. We want to win more than anything for the fans and for ourselves and for everybody. I really can’t tell you how much we want it. We all want it really bad.”
“Sometimes to badly and we do things out of character and what not. But, yea, we want it badly. What better time to start it than now. Win one then take it to the next game and try to build up a streak and confidence for the final two/thirds of the season.”