We’ve only won two games! Manchester Giants coach Jeff Jones pleads for calm after bright start

After their groundbreaking victory against pre-season favourites Worcester Wolves last Sunday, Manchester Giants coach Jeff Jones has warned his team aren’t about to get complacent.

Despite the emphatic victory in front of a raucous home crowd, Jones has reminded his BBL side all week that the key to success is adherence to the tried-and-tested formula.

The Giants travel to Leeds tonight to take on the Force, before welcoming the Bristol Flyers to the Trafford Sportsdome on Sunday.

And Jones knows his side will have to show the same level of hunger and intensity as they did against the Wolves to keep their winning streak alive.

The coach told MM: “We haven’t really achieved anything yet – we’ve only won two basketball games.

“We know there are a lot of games left to play and as soon as we start thinking too much about one-off wins we’re in trouble.

“We just have to worry about tonight first and let’s get through to the next round and then we’ll focus straight onto Sunday.”

The key, says Jones, is for the team to keep practising the same way as always, with the overarching aim of improving as a team.

He’s also been impressed with the team unity, pointing out that the lack of egos at the club makes it easy to foster a workmanlike ethos.

Jones said: “We’ve gone about our work really professionally this week in practice, the same as we have done for the last five weeks.

“Everything’s the same, our routine is the same and obviously the depth of the squad doesn’t really allow for too much complacency anyway.

“We don’t have individual superstar players, that’s not what this club is about.”

Despite coach Jones’ comments, expectations around the Giants have gone through the roof since their famous come-from-behind triumph in their last match.

Fans have already started dreaming of silverware at the end of the season, and possibly a deep run into the playoffs.

An early indication as to their championship credentials will come tonight, in the first cup game of the season.

Lose to Leeds Force and the Giants will be out of this year’s cup, but Jones told MM that added pressure usually brings something out of his teams.

Jones said: “Obviously playing in the cup is a straight elimination scenario. The thing is any time you face elimination, as we demonstrated last year in the playoffs against Sheffield Sharks, we fight really hard.

“Last year we played very well after they’d had a great season.

“From that perspective, any time your back is against the wall and you face going out of the competition, your adrenaline picks up.”

But win or lose tonight, the Giants’ big-picture goals won’t change.

Jones said: “We’ll always keep our feet on the ground and we want to keep improving. That’s what our aim is: it’s not any more elaborate than that. We just have to keep making progress as a team and see where we end up.”

Main image courtesy of Manchester Giants TV via YouTube, with thanks.

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