Leeds Force head coach Danny Nelson insists his team will be up for the fight ahead of tonight’s road clash with Worcester Wolves (7.30pm) and Sunday’s BBL Trophy knockout duel at home to Leicester Riders (4pm).
A devastating defeat against the lowly Manchester Giants last week condemned Force to the bottom of the British Basketball League standings for the first time this season, but Leeds play-caller Nelson hasn’t given up hope of turning Force’s fortunes around.
“We’re taking each game as it comes, we take the same approach no matter who we’re up against – this week’s double-header is no different,” Nelson said.
“Our defensive discipline has to improve, we know we’re capable of winning on the road and that’s the next aim on our list – Worcester’s a difficult test but one that if we apply ourselves we know we can pass.”
After Leeds’ battle in the West Midlands, Force return home to host reigning BBL champions Leicester Riders on Sunday in the BBL Trophy, a match-up that Nelson is relishing as Leeds look to banish their cup woes after crashing out of the BBL Cup at the first hurdle against London Lions in October.
“There’s no reason why we can’t be prepared for Sunday’s game against Leicester, anyone who finds it difficult to get ready for the game needs their head examining – it’s an easy game to be motivated for against an excellent side, knockout games are magic and we can’t wait to have a crack at it.”
Despite Leeds’ poor start to the campaign, the Irishman is confident that a fully-functioning Force squad free from injury with a few new additions can launch an assault on the play-off spots in 2018.
“We’re still building to challenge this season, we’ve had a lot of setbacks but there’s a core group of players that are excited and enthusiastic about playing for Leeds Force – they’re winners, and I can’t wait to unleash them on the league when we finalise our roster and bring everything together.”
He added: “We have long-term plans here at Leeds Force, some of which are already coming to fruition.
“Our goal is to shape a team that can represent the city of Leeds and make this community proud, it’s tough when we’re not getting results on court but the resilience from everyone involved with the team will pay off sooner rather than later.”