Flournoy is paid a Fab compliment!

Former Eagles coach Tom Hancock has paid tribute to Fab Flournoy - and tipped the New Yorker to get his side back on track and challenging for honours.

Former Eagles coach Tom Hancock has paid tribute to Fab Flournoy - and tipped the New Yorker to get his side back on track and challenging for honours.

Newcastle have begun the defence of their BBL title with successive defeats and let themselves down with an embarrassing display against Hancock's rampant Lions side on Friday night.

Flournoy has spent the weekend picking up the pieces and weighing up his options, although the vastly experienced Hancock believes it is far too soon to be reaching for the panic button just yet.

He said: "These are early, early days in the new season and I don't think anybody needs to be too worried in Newcastle.

"One of the first things I did was to shake Fab's hand and congratulate him on what was a really great achievement last year.

"Winning every competition was phenomenal and you have to give him huge credit.

"I am not too sure exactly what they need to do because that is Fab's responsibility. However, he has shown as a coach he can get it right and I am sure he will gain.."

Hancock added: "I know he might be looking to bring in a player or two, and that will make a difference, but these things can take some time.

"I have huge respect for the way Newcastle kept going even though they knew they probably were not going to be able to come back into the game.

"They showed a lot of heart and fought right until the end, which is always important."

Hancock also admitted that, despite having left Tyneside during the Sporting Club era without finding any success, the Eagles are still a club he holds very close to his heart.

He said: "Newcastle is a great place and I remember my time there very well.

"Sir John Hall and his family looked after me and they were great people.

"I seriously considered buying a house and settling down in the city."

Hancock's endorsement of Flournoy will be mirrored by the club's fans who, despite the disappointing start, know their coach gets it right more often than not.

Having said that, the possibility of re-signing Jeremy Hyatt has left him with the biggest decision he has had to make since he arrived at the club.

While he can relax in the knowledge most supporters would welcome Hyatt back, I believe the play-caller is worried he might be left short on forward power.

If the Hyatt situation is resolved in the next day or two as expected, I would be very surprised if the Springfield Honda-backed club were not looking to supplement the arrival of the guard at some point with a forward.

If resources will not stretch that far, then bringing Hyatt back is undoubtedly a gamble - but one which Flournoy appears prepared to take.

NFORMER Eagles coach Tony Garbelotto's London United maintained their 100% start to their inaugural BBL Championship campaign with a 76-70 victory over the Scottish Rocks at the Braehead Arena.

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