Andrew Thomson believes Newcastle Eagles’ opening night defeat to Worcester Wolves is a big part of the reason the reigning champions are riding a four-game winning streak into Friday’s clash with Surrey United.
Since that loss to last season’s BBL Trophy and Play-Off victors, Eagles have gone from strength to strength, winning four games in a row while United have won one of their first six.
Thomson attributes Eagles’ improvements to the impact of dropping a game so early, but feels they still have some way to go to reach their potential.
Thomson said: “It was a shock with the opening season loss at home, but it was a blessing in disguise.
“We were able to break down everything that went wrong. Not taking anything away from Worcester, they played well, but we didn’t help ourselves and we’ve had to address that.
“We’ve been able to improve in every game we have played, but have yet put a solid 40 minutes together. We’re trying to focus on our principles and holding our standards high.”
Thomson returned to Eagles in the summer following a successful spell in France, having been part of the 2012 team that won all four BBL prizes.
It has taken him longer than anticipated to slot back into the BBL but he is beginning to feel more at home and is focused on continuing that progression, with victory against United.
“It’s been a slower transition than I would like, but it’s a process which I feel is moving in the right direction,” revealed Thomson.
“It’s a process of fitting in and finding your role within the team and getting used to how everyone plays together.”
He added: “I hear Surrey are a well-coached team, that have a great work ethic and never give up. Every team is dangerous in this league, so we will always respect our opponent and do our homework on them.”
Last time they met:
Surrey United 58 Newcastle Eagles 106 (BBL Championship, Surrey Sports Park, 13/04/2014)
What they say:
United centre Kramer Knutson: “Newcastle are tough, it is going to take a 40-minute-or-more effort. I think the key for us is to come together defensively and for everyone to do what they do. When we play together and free, I like our chances against any team in the BBL.”