Ben Thomas insists there is no reason yet to panic for his Cheshire Phoenix side after they hit a bump in the road in their bid to reach the BBL play-offs at the end of the season.
An 82-77 defeat at home to Sheffield Sharks on Sunday night saw the Nix lose ground in their bid to make the post season and they currently sit outside the top eight in ninth.
But with the teams above them having lost either the same or more games than the Nix, and with Cheshire having several games in hand on some, head coach Thomas isn’t overly concerned at this stage, although he stressed the need for them to make their extra games count.
“There is no panic yet,” said Thomas.
“We aren’t worrying too much and aren’t getting too downbeat. You look at the table and there are teams above us who have lost as many as us, in some cases more.
“We are in a pretty good position and we have games in hand, but we have to make sure we make the most of them and start picking up points or those games will get away from us and we will be in a tough spot.
“But we spoke at practice last week about what we needed to do. If we win the games we are supposed to win then we will get ourselves well positioned in the play-offs come the end of the season and we won’t be relying on anybody else and results elsewhere.”
Cheshire were edged out at home to Sheffield at the Cheshire Oaks Arena on Sunday and couldn’t capitalise late on in a close ball game.
The Sharks moved into fourth in the BBL Championship with the success as Chris Alexander’s 20 points helped them grab the win down the stretch.
“We put ourselves in a great position to win the game in the final quarter,” said Thomas, whose side were crowned BBL Cup winners at Arena Birmingham last month.
“But we went away from playing team basketball and we started playing as individuals so we couldn’t close out the game.
“But we will regroup and work on a few things and come back refreshed and ready for back-to-back games.”
The Nix host North West rivals Manchester Giants in a game televised live on the BBC Sport website on Friday night (7.30pm) before travelling to Surrey Scorchers on Sunday (3pm).
And with the Giants second bottom in the table and Surrey lying in seventh, it is a weekend that could provide a big boost to Thomas and his team.
He said: “Manchester always raise their game when they play us and it is like their cup final.
“They are a different team to when we played them and they have added another American, so they will be tough.
“It is a weekend where we are looking for two wins and one that, if we get them, could change the complexion of the table and give the table a healthy look heading into next week.
“We can’t afford to be complacent, though, and we’ll be making sure we keep our focus.”