They may have already picked up some silverware this season but Cheshire Phoenix head coach Ben Thomas says his side can’t rest on their laurels if they are to be in the mix for the BBL play-offs come the end of the season.
Five days after lifting the BBL Cup in Birmingham in front of a crowd of 10,000, the Nix hit a bump in the road in the BBL Championship as they went down 83-79 at Sheffield Sharks.
Cheshire need to break into the top eight at the end of the regular season to bag a play-off spot and currently sit one place and two points off the pace, although they do have as many as seven games in hand on some rivals above them.
The Nix face a tough weekend and travel to second placed Newcastle Eagles on Friday night before hosting league leaders Leicester Riders at the Cheshire Oaks Arena on Sunday (5.30pm).
And Thomas is aiming to keep his side well on course.
He said: “I don’t know whether there was a final hangover at Sheffield but we certainly didn’t have the intensity that we usually play with and we didn’t play as a team. When you play as a group of individuals that is the result that you will end up getting.
“We have got two massive games coming up, two games where we will really be up against it. But we need to be winning at least one of these games, if not both.
“We have a long trip to Newcastle on Friday and then a short rest period before taking on the best team in the country.
“We have games in hand but they mean absolutely nothing if you don’t turn them into wins. We need to start making some ground now to ensure we are well in the mix for the play-offs.”
Thomas hopes to have American point guard Robert Sandoval available again after he had to fly home and missed the Sheffield game owing to a family bereavement.
“Robert had a family bereavement so had to head back to the US and our thoughts are with him,” said Thomas.
“We missed him at Sheffield and it showed as he is one of our starting five.
“But we hope to have him back with us for this weekend, that’s the plan.”