Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time for Eagles to Lift off - Skipper; We Have Just Not Been Good Enough, Admits Bridge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time for Eagles to Lift off - Skipper; We Have Just Not Been Good Enough, Admits Bridge

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

(0191) 201-6017 mark.douglas@ncjmedia.co.uk SKIPPER Andrew Bridge has delivered a scathing half-term report on the Newcastle Eagles' BBL title defence, admitting they haven't been good enough so far this season.

The veteran captain reckons that the Eagles have only played to their ability four times this season, and acknowledges their air of invincibility has evaporated after careless defeats at struggling sides like Plymouth Raiders and Worthing Thunder. The Eagles are still in the thick of the title race, but it is a measure of the standards that have been set at the Arena that Bridge's disappointment is merely reflecting the general consensus at the Arena.

Although there have been some outstanding individual performances, Fab Flournoy's men have not been consistent enough up to this point and their form on the road has come under sharp scrutiny.

The Eagles will use the short Christmas break that follows tonight's match against the Essex Pirates to iron out the inconsistencies undermining their bid to win a third straight BBL title.

And with characters as honest and selfcritical as their long-serving captain, there will be no hiding place for underperforming players during the second half of the season.

"No one is hiding or trying to get away from it, for whatever reason we just haven't played well enough this season," said Bridge.

"We have not been playing to our ability both at home and away, and that has led to us losing games that we shouldn't have.

"People are pointing to our away record and the defeats that we've suffered at places like Plymouth and Worthing, but we've not played that well at home either. "We've probably got the breaks in our home games but that is what you'd expect over the course of the season. I don't distinguish between home and away results and look for a problem there - it is probably solely down to the fact we're not playing well enough. …

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