A lot of water has flowed under the (Tyne) bridge since the opening day defeat for Newcastle Eagles WBBL side at Caledonia Gladiators. most of it eventually in the right direction, so will tonight’s return fixture go the way Newcastle want it too?
Time will tell but there’s no doubting that despite the blip last weekend down in Essex this is an Eagles side brimming with talent and promise. They have finally found a settled line-up and are baring down on a good play-off seeding.
However they face a very tough Caledonia side that ended the seemingly unbeatable London Lions 52-game winning streak three weeks ago. A Caledonia side led by GB superstar Chantelle Handy that are looking towards a top four finish this season.
Eagles Head Coach Noelia Cacheiro is well acquainted with the Gladiators line-up and the dangers it holds as well as knowing her side need to bounce back after the disappointment of last weekend’s reverse.
“Last week was very disappointing especially after the previous game against them when we won in the Trophy. I think we had nothing to fear going into that game because we were the better team in that first game for sure.”
“But credit to them in the second game. We came out flat and they took advantage of our lack of readiness and being at the wrong level. Disappointed we didn’t wake up in time.”
“We did have a bit of a run at the end and kept fighting all the way through but it was too late to catch-up after the hole we dug ourselves into in the first half. Essex went a little off what we expected but I do think we’re the better team and would normally beat them nine times out of ten.”
“I do have to give my girls credit for the work they’ve put in and credit to the team for their commitment for trying to do what we needed to do. But that’s gone and we have to adjust for Caledonia now.”
“This time around I am very concerned about our performance. Last time we played them as it was a lack of readiness that got us that poor result in the end. We were also missing some players that we now have today.”
“So it will be a completely different game. There team is also very different to what it was when we played them in the opening game. We’re playing at home so I’m hoping that the warmth from our fans will also help us lift our spirits and our legs.”
“We’re pretty tired at the moment as we’ve had to travel a lot of miles and play a lot of games in the last couple of weeks especially on the road which takes it’s toll.”
“But we are a different team. I always said that you wouldn’t see the best of our team until after Christmas and we’ve proven that to be right. We came back after Christmas and we’ve had some really good performances and results.”
“The keys to today’s game are they have a lot of firepower and a big team and it’s the first time we’re going to match-up that also plays with three bigs like we do. We need to respond to that and see what we can do to stop them.”
“They’re a team solid on defence so if we can take care of business offensively and don’t get stuck behind enemy lines we’re up for a good run. I have no doubt that we’re going to come out with a lot of energy and ready to take them on.”
Cacheiro is a coach that cares passionately about her team and helping them produce the right performances at the right time and is always looking for progression. Tonight in the Vertu Motors Arena at 7:30pm will be the time to see if that happens.