Danny Nelson insists that a win against high-flying Worcester Wolves tonight (7.30pm) could prove the antidote to an ailing Leeds Force’s long-running BBL slide after a disastrous campaign so far for the West Yorkshire strugglers.
Nelson’s Force journey to the West Midlands searching to snap a 17-game losing streak that leaves Leeds cast adrift at the bottom of the BBL standings with only 10 games of the season remaining.
After last week’s blizzards forced the cancellation of Leeds’ home clash against Surrey Scorchers, the Irishman is hopeful that some much-needed time off for Force’s walking wounded will boost their chances of earning a timely first away win of a forgettable campaign.
“We’ve had a chance to rest some guys with sickness and injuries owing to the poor weather conditions over the last week,” Nelson said. “It’s always a battle of attrition for every team at this point in the season, so getting guys healthy and ready to fight will be vital to our chances of success in the coming weeks.
“Worcester are a strong team who love to control the tempo – they’re well organised, slow-paced and meticulous so we know we can’t give them much time with the ball otherwise we’ll be heavily punished again.”
Despite having to soon face the tricky task of assembling a competitive squad in the off-season as Leeds look to put this season’s misery behind them, the Force play-caller is focused firmly on ending the current season with a bang and halting the team’s torrid run of form.
“The goal is simply to get a win of any kind, we desperately need a victory and that’s our only aim right now. We know we’ll have to be perfect and compete for the duration of a game to win it – everyone has to be focused and at their best, otherwise it just won’t happen.
“We’re a long way away from the off-season, and we need wins on the board now before we can even begin to think about the summer.”
Having been faced with an unfathomably high level of turnover across a disjointed season, Nelson believes that Force must first focus on building their newly-established youth programme before beginning their pivotal pursuit of fresh talent and new signings in the coming months.
Nelson said: “I’d like to retain some players who’ve brought the right culture and attitude to the squad, and we have to make sure there is a core foundation of young players coming through our new development system.
“We had no players going through the Leeds set-up coming into this year, but recently we’ve blooded some guys in.
“If we can keep them, that’ll give us some strong foundations for next year.”