Injuries add up to ‘extremely difficult’ Newcastle Eagles test, believes Manchester Giants coach Jeff Jones

By Sarah Brook

Manchester Giants will be looking to bounce back with a win tonight following their double defeats last weekend as they face Newcastle Eagles away.

The Giants narrowly lost out to the second-place Eagles at home in early October and the BBL new-boys are under no illusion of the challenge that awaits them.

Coach Jeff Jones admitted that with players out from injuries, tonight match will be a tough battle on the floor.

“It will be extremely difficult, especially away,” Jones told

“But it will give us another opportunity on the road to hone our skills and competitiveness to where they need to be.

“It will be difficult to win it to be honest and not many teams do but it might give us a win at Durham or Glasgow in weeks to come by going up there and playing well and improving our confidence.

“We want a good performance and we want to build on last weekend and make sure it is competitive and are around at the end of the game to make sure we are in for a shot of winning.”

Giants player David Watts – who has been suffering with a groin strain this week – admitted training had really picked up the pace ahead of tonight’s fixture.

He said: “After the disappointment of last weekend we are all fired up for tonight’s game – ready to fight for the win over the entire 40 minutes.”

Although the Giants have only secured three wins in eight, coach Jones is pleased with his team’s improvements week in week out.

He said: “We played probably the most talented team in the country on Friday night at home and we had a shot of winning and we lost to them by 32 points about four weeks ago.

“I am not one for moral victories but in the sense of an improvement on a scale of one to ten it was almost off the chart.

“Despite what people say the league is extremely tough and at the moment if we make the top eight in our first year of franchise we are on track for where we need to be.

“Of course it is disappointing every time we lose but the improvement in the team has been very good and we will just continue to do that.”

The Eagles will be looking to clinch their first head-to-head series of the season on home turf tonight but player-coach Fab Flournoy expects that his side will face another tough battle against the Manchester side.

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