Deirdre Hayes will not allow one heavy defeat to divert her side from this season’s detailed blueprint for long-term success.

The Team Northumbria playcaller has worked tirelessly during the summer to recruit a roster capable of mounting a top four challenge.

And Hayes remains focused on finding the winning formula despite a crushing 87-40 defeat at the hands of powerhouse Sheffield Hatters.

“Unfortunately we just weren’t good enough on the day,” said a beaten but unbowed Hayes.

“But we can use the Sheffield game to gauge our weaknesses and work towards the next game.

“The match didn’t go to plan and it was difficult playing one of the top teams in the country but we need to move on now.

“The Hatters come with a lot of history but we were just trying to think about our performance. We needed four players in double figures but we only had two.

“We have a couple of new players who are still trying to get used to our system and we’re getting used to them too.

“The shooting wasn’t good enough and it was inconsistent. Our little mistakes against a team of that calibre really showed on the day unfortunately.

“It was a bit daunting going out in the first game and playing the Hatters but this game is history now. We can learn from it and work towards the next.”

New signing Cat Carr struggled in the face of Sheffield pressure turning the ball over seven times in 40 minutes and shooting just 25% from the floor.

And the hosts would have been cut even further adrift without a TN high 20 points and nine rebounds from homecourt favourite Ta’yani Clark.

The hosts were under pressure from the tip as Sheffield raced into a 15-4 first period lead.

The Hatters won the second quarter by 14 points to end the clash as a contest.

And even though TN matched the Steel City club point for point in a tied third period there was no way back for a team in transition.

“I am confident we will improve,” added Hayes.

“I am still positive for the future, we have a good team and we just need to learn from this now.”

TN return to action on November 5 when the first of this season’s eagerly anticipated local derbies sees Durham Wildcats host Hayes’ side.