Bridge makes a very good case for defence

Eagles guard Andrew Bridge has warned his team-mates solid defence is the key to picking up a first win of the season when they face Milton Keynes tonight.

Eagles guard Andrew Bridge has warned his team-mates solid defence is the key to picking up a first win of the season when they face Milton Keynes tonight.

The England man knows Newcastle face a stiff test and, rather than worry about a lack of firepower, it is those trademark defensive qualities which can help the Eagles back to winning ways.

Bridge said: "A lot has been made about us losing players in the summer who provided us with a lot of offence and scoring power. After losing our first game people might be worried about this even more.

"They should not be. The reason we lost to Sheffield is that we gave up more than 80 points defensively. Scoring is not a problem for us."

He added: "What is a problem is not keeping teams to less than 80 points because we have the players in the team to do it.

"Getting back to our defensive principles is vitally important.

"There were plenty of positives last week despite the loss and if we can play like we did for the first 35 minutes we have every chance of coming out on top.

"We also know if we make the same mistakes at the wrong time we will be putting ourselves under pressure and making it difficult."

The Springfield Honda-backed club will be up against one of their former coaches in Tom Hancock, who was at the helm during the Sporting Club era, and it adds extra spice to an often feisty fixture.

Last season a number of Lions players tried to confront an Eagles' huddle during a time-out in Bletchley while Robert Youngblood lashed out at Olu Babalola in a rather unsavoury manner at the Arena.

Bridge is not expecting any problems but has admitted the Eagles face a tough task against a wily Lions side including stalwarts such as Shawn Jamison, Youngblood and ex-Eagles favourite Tony Windless.

He said: "They are a veteran team with so much experience and we will have to play well to come out with the right result.

"They have retained four or five guys just like we have and it will be a physical battle."

"If we play good defence then we have a chance of winning the game. While it is no guarantee, we have to put into practice what we have worked on all week."

Player-coach Fab Flournoy is continuing to weigh up his options in terms of bringing in reinforcements and has been playing his cards very close to his chest over the last few days.

Having shown he is not willing to take the easy option by signing the first player who comes along, having sent Great Britain star Chris Haslam away without a deal, I believe Flournoy has a definite player in mind - possibly one being chased by another British Basketball League club.

Haslam, meanwhile, has signed for former Eagles coach Tony Garbelotto at London United.

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