FRUSTRATED Fab Flournoy faces another fortnight on the sidelines after suffering another groin injury.
Flournoy played in Sunday’s must-win game against Plymouth a few days before he was scheduled to return and, while his Newcastle Eagles secured a crucial win, it came at a cost for the Eagles player-coach.
“I took one step and it went. I was probably a couple of days too early,” he admitted.
“It has knocked me back two or three weeks. I did it as soon as the buzzer went off in the last possession of the first half and it was so frustrating.
“I probably broke a couple of tables and screamed and shouted in the locker room. I just took a step across to try and stop an attack by them and call it fatigue, call it muscle problems or whatever.
“Given the situation we were in we needed the game and that is what it came down to. It was a must-win game at all costs and we got the win. Now it’s about making sure we get the job done.
“If we can hold Plymouth to 79 or just below 80, why weren’t we able to do that against Cheshire? The story was rebounds and turnovers – we didn’t manage to defend properly.”
Not that Flournoy is minded to be too critical of his players after they pulled off a huge win at Plymouth – 48 hours after a crushing defeat to Cheshire.
“The guys had a monstrous game. It was a great all-round game. Charles’ rebounding was sky high and Ant, playing back Plymouth, was great,” he said.
“It was the defence. Once we mastered that the game was much easier.”
Defence is a theme that Flournoy (pictured right) will return to in the coming week as his battered and bruised side take on Surrey Heat on Sunday.
“Everyone has to play defence. Our defensive rotations are predicated on everyone doing their jobs,” he said.
“The beauty of our defence is that when it’s working, we look masterful. It’s almost a stranglehold – we have not allowed teams more than four or five points in quarters but the downside is that if one person is late or misses something there’s glitches.
“If two don’t manage to do that, we have problems, but if three or four don’t make those then we are in real trouble.
“Right now, with the injuries we have, different players are doing different things. The things they have learned might be immaterial because they have to do different things.”
The Eagles are limping into matches at the moment, with Flournoy joined on the sidelines by Damon Huffman – who has been missing for nearly a month now.
That impacts the team in games but also in practice, where Flournoy has not been able to have a proper training session for months.
“It’s quite clear we can do it, we just need to do it in every game,” he said.
“For me it’s not about being hard on them, it is about preparation and the lack of it. For three months, with the injuries to me and Damon, we haven’t been practising properly.
“Some weeks we have been down to seven and you can’t run up and down the court with that. Sometimes, it is the Friday game which is the first chance we get to play five on five because of the injuries.
“When we played Durham, it was three weeks since we had a proper scrimmage. We were without me and we hadn’t practised properly.”