Fab Flournoy wants improvements across the board when Esh Group Eagles Newcastle look to level the season series with Worcester Wolves in Friday’s top-of-the-table BBL TV clash.
Wolves lead the league at 8-2 after ending Leicester Riders’ 20-month unbeaten Championship run last weekend.
They also got the better of Eagles, 80-71, in their last meeting. But Flournoy’s side – one of four teams right behind Worcester at 7-2 – hope to be better this time.
“Worcester played very hard last time we played them,” said Flournoy.
“They have two ultra-competitive guards and an excellent team work ethic. To beat them we simply have to play better in every area than we did last time, shooting, rebounding, hustle plays – you name it!”
Eagles head into the game in good form having handed defeats to Manchester Giants and Glasgow Rocks last weekend.
For Fournoy, it’s a sign this new roster is coming together.
He added: “We do feel like we are making progress.
“Our team is beginning to integrate and understand how to play off each other whilst picking up on our defensive principles.
“We played two solid offensive teams last weekend and held them both to low shooting percentages which was pleasing.”
Last time they met:
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 71 Worcester Wolves 80 (BBL Championship, Sport Central, 25/10/2013)
What they say:
Wolves coach Paul James: “It feels good to have recovered from a couple of bad games and still be sitting at the top of the league. “I look forward to these games against the top teams in the league and Newcastle is no different.
“I can see that since we beat them Fab has demanded that they redouble their efforts, which they have done, dominating their opponents ever since.”
Eagles’ Charles Smith (pictured): “I don’t think we have showed our best yet. The last two weeks have been the first time that we are all healthy so I believe our best is yet to come.
“Worcester have a good team and a good coach. We didn’t play well at all last time we met. We will need to rebound better, and have better execution on the offensive end.
“A lot of teams have had a good start to the season but until everyone has played each other you won’t really know who are going to be the standout teams.”