Leeds force head over the Pennines on Sunday looking to achieve back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
The fledgling BBL club moved six points clear of the foot of the table with last weekend’s crucial win over Surrey United, which left the southerners with no margin for error in their attempt to haul themselves off the bottom.
Force’s eighth win of the league season from 32 games continued a rough trend of one victory every four fixtures, but to get to their stated aim of 10 wins in their first year they need to break from the norm in the final quartet of games.
Two wins would not only see them reach double figures but could potentially elevate them higher in the ladder and give them a more positive outlook heading into their second season in the top flight.
It might be a tall order given they have the all-conquering Newcastle Eagles to play away from home next week, but there is also Bristol Flyers to visit on the final weekend – their rival rookies who they have yet to topple – and Glasgow Rocks to host, a side they feel each time they are getting closer to beating.
Manchester away perhaps offers the best chance of a win, given Leeds have beaten the Giants twice this season, in the league and in the BBL Cup, which was their first victory at this level back in October.
The Giants are trying to get into the play-offs and sit two points adrift of eighth-placed Bristol – six ahead of Leeds – but have lost their last four.
Should they achieve back-to-back wins for the first time, Leeds would also revive their faint hopes of gatecrashing the top eight and the play-offs, such a scenario that with three games to go is not to be sniffed at.
The inability to back-up performances night after night, or in this case, week after week, has been one of the bug bears for Force head coach Matt Newby.
It owes much to their lack of experience and squad depth, but as they head towards the end of what has been a challenging but energising first season among the elite, it would be a notable feather in the cap of all at the Leeds Beckett University-based team if they were to achieve that.
Tip-off at the Lucozade Soccerdome in Manchester on Sunday is 6pm.