Leeds Force head coach Danny Nelson insists his steadily-improving side have the spirit and fight needed to escape the bottom of the British Basketball League standings before the end of a difficult campaign.
Leeds head into their next fixture against BBL Cup finalists Worcester Wolves in two weeks’ time hoping to overturn a desolate run of 13 consecutive defeats in all competitions – a woeful run of form the determined Nelson is confident his Force side can leave behind.
“Recently we’ve reduced the margin of our defeats, and we’re confident of challenging to cause an upset if teams don’t take us seriously enough,” Nelson said.
“We have to start somewhere – improving our offence and defence enough to fight for victories week in, week out is still our ultimate goal this season.”
A plethora of injuries and exits has left an ailing Leeds fighting against the odds on a weekly basis, but the stoic coach Nelson isn’t concerned – and hopes a full-strength Force squad can take the league by storm as the campaign edges towards its climax.
“If we were losing handily with a full squad and no injuries, then I’d be worried – but we haven’t had that, and our confidence and spirit is still very high because there’s a lot to come from Leeds Force once we tap into our true potential.” said Nelson. “There’s a nucleus of players who’ve stayed loyal to us this season in difficult circumstances, those guys will hopefully be at the heart of Leeds Force for many years to come. I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts, and I look forward to us thriving once our long-term project really begins to take shape – Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
A slight upturn in form across recent weeks has seen a gradual boost in support for Nelson’s side, and the Irishman hopes to reward Leeds’ loyal following by targeting a quick turnaround in results with Force refusing to give up on their playoff aspirations.
He added: “Our fanbase has steadily increased over the new year, something we’ve worked incredibly hard to achieve and it’s been great to see a bigger crowd cheering us on at home games recently – we’re gradually growing and there’s an air of positivity surrounding everyone at Leeds Force right now. The only way is upwards for our team – we’re excited and we’ll be giving our all in the next few weeks to turn things around.”