Sheffield Sharks v Newcastle Eagles '“ Growing self-belief well-timed ahead of tough month

Mike Tuck accepts Sheffield Sharks' British Basketball League title credentials will be tested to the limit over the festive period.

Mike Tuck in action for Sheffield Sharks against Glasgow Rocks on October 19 at EIS Sheffield. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Not that the buoyant Sharks fear such an acid test.

A defining month of December began with a first victory in two years against Leicester Riders last week, stretching the Sharks’ winning sequence to seven games and lifting them to second in the standings.

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Tonight they play a home game at the English Institute of Sport for the first time in a month, against Newcastle Eagles, who have one win fewer, before travelling to leaders London Lions on Sunday.

“We have beaten some good teams so far, but we always knew December was going to be our most challenging month so far,” said Tuck, who is in his 10th season with the Sharks.

“We’ve done well because we lost a couple of games early in the year, but reacted quickly by making a couple of adjustments and some changes in personnel.

“We were also a little worried we’d lose some momentum over the international break, but we showed we hadn’t by going into Leicester and winning there.

“And we’re now seven in a row ahead of Newcastle, then London the next two Sundays.

“But we’re ready for them both. The guys are believing in themselves and we’re excited about being back at home.”