Scott Martin admits Newcastle Eagles cannot afford to drop another game after their shock reverse at Plymouth last weekend.
The Eagles take on BBL newcomers Birmingham Knights on Friday looking for an instant riposte following their first defeat of the season – and new boy Martin admits another slip-up is unthinkable.
Newcastle showed enough in that loss to suggest they will develop into a formidable team, but they are still far from the finished article.
Martin admits there may be more growing pains while the newcomers integrate into Fab Flournoy’s system, but he says they cannot be allowed to, snowball into further defeats.
He said: “We can’t really afford to slip up again at this early stage in the season.
“To be honest this is not a team who is used to losing games and so we don’t want to slip up at any stage.
“While we’re still trying to build something I think it is important that we go out and try to get the win against Birmingham because it’s a big game for us.”
Martin is one of three rookies in the Eagles’ team and he has impressed in the early weeks of the season. He made the bench for the BBL team of the week despite the defeat in Devon and has been heralded as one of the key men if Newcastle are to reclaim the title they lost to Leicester last season.
While his obvious talent has led to high hopes for the Notre Dame graduate, Martin is preaching patience while a new team settles into a rhythm.
As well as Martin, the Eagles also have Malik Cooke among their new recruits and they may need time.
Martin added: “I think what it comes down to is we’re a new team and we’re still getting know each other.
“We’re still getting together as a team and we’re learning how to play alongside each other,.
“Unfortunately, that is not something you can rush and this team has a lot of growing to do and a lot of improving to do. There are a lot of talented guys here, though.”
Like most newcomers to the BBL, Martin has had to settle into a new style alongside a new culture.
Hailing from an Indiana town just a 45-minute drive from Chicago, Newcastle is a definite change of pace for him.
The BBL is also a completely different ball game for a player with a stellar college career.
Martin said: “Newcastle is very different from what I’m used to but I’m enjoying getting to know the city and getting to know the peopl.
“The BBL is a bit different from what I thought it would be.
“It is a growing league but it is much more physical than I thought it would be and it looks like this year a lot of teams are going to be taking lumps out of each other.
“It is going to be a competitive league and no one really knows who the big challengers are going to be.”
There is also the added issue for Martin of getting used to Flournoy’s methods – as well as playing under a player-coach. The Eagles’ chief has long admitted combining the roles makes it difficult for newcomers to assimilate at first, but Martin feels the system is something which will eventually play to his advantage.
He added: “I’m quite a defensive player so a system that is based on defence should really be a good one for me.
“I am enjoying playing for Fab (Flournoy) because he has a winning mentality and I think we all want to win.
“Of course, it will take time to get completely up with the system and what is expected of me – but I’m enjoying my experience here so far.”