Leeds Force aim to clip the Eagles' wings again

Leeds Force are looking to cause another upset when the travel north to face the Newcastle Eagles tonight.

Friday, 10th February 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:25 pm
Jermaine Sanders.

Having picked up their first ever win against the Eagles a fortnight ago it has given the side confidence that they can go and steal the series.

Coach Matt Newby knows if his side can put Newcastle side under pressure from the outset it could lead to a promising night for the Force.

He said: “If we start strongly like we did when we played them on our floor and put them on the back foot it can be a good night for us.”

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Matt Newby.

Newby has admitted his side’s performance in the 101-83 home defeat against the Bristol Flyers was not acceptable and it is his job to address the problem.

“For whatever reason our performance dipped against Bristol and our it wasn’t good enough and I need to put things right, quickly,” added Newby.

“We know we are capable of a much higher performance and we showed that against the Eagles and against Plymouth without Jermaine (Sanders) so that ability is there.

“It was disappointing to see the dip against the Flyers, but we had an honest chat with the players and we are all ready to put in a better display.”

Armand Anebo.

The Force are travelling to the team sitting second in the league but have dipped in form since winning the BBL Cup a month ago.

Newcastle have lost three of their last five games in all competitions, most recently against table-toppers Leicester Riders who thrashed them 106-69 in the BBL Trophy quarter-finals in midweek.

Despite the poor form of Newcastle, Newby is determined to ensure his players are at their best come tip-off.

He said: “They will be licking their wounds not just from our win but from the loss on Tuesday night so we need to be aware of that.

Matt Newby.

“I have always said though that we match up very well against the Eagles so it will a good hame against them.

“With the top four there is never a good or bad time to play them, they are fighting for trophies, just like we are fighting for the play-offs so we need to be prepared or it could be a long night.”

With the Manchester Giants picking up points last week it means they are on the same points as the Force but Leeds do have some games in hand.

Newby isn’t surprised the teams lower down the table have started to pick up points.

Armand Anebo.

He said: “Everyone is raising their game at this point in the season.

“We all want the play-offs so we need to do the same.”

The only injury concern Newby has going into the game is Leeds captain Armand Anebo who faces a late fitness test as he has been having trouble with the knee he had surgery on in the summer.