Danny Nelson is hoping Leeds Force’s never-say-die attitude will be enough to end a torrid 19-game BBL losing streak against high-flying Newcastle Eagles at Sport Central tonight.
Force’s woeful season reached a new low last week, as Nelson’s Leeds slumped to their lowest points total in a 56-point hammering at the hands of a rampant Surrey Scorchers – sealing a miserable 23rd loss of a catastrophic campaign.
“It was a very poor performance against Surrey, and we honestly can’t go much lower than that,” Nelson admitted.
“We lacked heart and hustle defensively and didn’t show the fight I expect of my players when they hit the court.
“When you lose like that, you have to re-think, re-group and continue fighting – there’s no time for negativity and finger-pointing, we just have to refocus and take each game in our stride.”
Nelson’s strugglers will still be smarting from a 41-point blowout loss on Tyneside a month ago, but the Force play-caller is challenging his squad to learn from their mistakes and stage a shock tonight.
“We have fresh information in my head from the last Newcastle game which makes it easier from a coaching perspective.
“It’s our job to use what we learned from playing them recently and take advantage of it this time around.”
Despite being destined to finish bottom of the BBL standings, the Irishman insists his battle-hardened recruits deserve praise for refusing to surrender even with the end of a bleak season in sight.
Nelson said: “It would be easy to just give up after another heavy defeat, but it’s more important to evaluate and get better every week – that’s our only aim right now.
“That loss doesn’t change our mindset, we want to challenge and compete in each game – every competitor should have the same approach.
“It’s important we keep working to improve and fix our mistakes – we’re honest about our current situation with each other, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to fight to win every game we play.
“We’re still here, we get knocked down but keep standing up again – that’s something I’m very proud of, it shows the toughness and resilience of Leeds Force and this group of players.”