An away league fixture against bottom of the table Worcester Wolves tonight would on paper be the perfect game for Esh Group Eagles Newcastle to pick themselves up from their last disappointing outing.
But, with the late news that former Eagles coach Tony Garbelotto will be patrolling the side-lines as Worcester’s interim Head Coach, the game has been given an added twist and made that much tougher as Newcastle look to bounce back from the disappointment of a shock Trophy defeat against Manchester.
Garbelotto has been brought in by Wolves to cover the gap for coach Ty Shaw who is still recuperating after taking ill during a game against Sheffield early in January. With Worcester 1 – 16 in the league this season, a coach of the calibre of Garbelotto might be just the man to turn things around.
Eagles mercurial point guard Rahmon Fletcher was unaware of Garbelotto’s appointment when he previewed tonight’s game by reflecting on his frustration at that Trophy loss in the new Eagles Community Arena at the hands of Manchester Giants.
“When you play Trophy games, they’re a little bit different to BBL games. You play with a lot more emotional intent behind it. It was a big roller-coaster type of game with emotions high and low so it was up and down. I think the frustration came from a little bit of exhaustion and lot of upset at the loss in general.”
“But that’s sport, you can’t be perfect all of the time. It’s hard to stay on top at all times. The goal is always to improve and we’re building something inside and around our Club and we also want to be better than we were last month.”
“As of now it’s been a little bit inconsistent as one time, we’ll be really good and then the next we’ll be really mediocre and it’s about tying to find that balance and being consistent like we were at the start of the season and we’re trying to get that back.”
Fletcher is a real leader both on and off the court but as the point guard and the man that runs the team on court, he needs to not only impose his own game on court but also carry his coaches’ messages to his team as well.
“The point guard normally has to be another coach on court but with this team I don’t really feel like I have to do that. We have a lot of players that have been around the block and we only really have one true rookie in Kyle (Williams).”
So, what are the things that Newcastle need to key-in on as they go in to the Wolves den tonight?
“It’s just about us gelling right now as the teams that hit their stride around this time are always the teams that are successful going in to the Play-offs. The Play-offs and the league are the only things left for us to focus on. So, it’s about being together and not getting on that low skid.”
“That win against Surrey last time on the road I thought we took a step forward towards where we want to be as we fought through a lot of adversity but that Manchester game set us back and we need to get that back tonight.”
“Worcester is always a tough game. I don’t care who’s their coach or who’s on their team they’re just one of those teams that has that aura about them and I know they’re going to be physical, tough and competitive. In many respects it’s a trap game for us.”
“They’re 1 and 16 and so kind of want to win a game and probably think they’re due a win and ready to win a game. They’re probably thinking they have a great chance to get that win. I’m confident we can get the win but what I want to see is us competing in this one and all games from now.”
“We need to compete a high-level for the full forty and give ourselves something to work on going forward. It’ll be a battle, it always is against Worcester.”
Tonight’s away game is the first to be screened live at our Eagles Community Arena’s Hospitality Suite with the VIP bar and Eagles Eats cafe open throughout the evening. Tickets are just £1 and can be purchased in advance or on the door tonight when doors open at 6:30pm.