Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Defoe Is Urged to Take Responsibility

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Defoe Is Urged to Take Responsibility

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE Eagles chief Paul Blake is looking to Darius Defoe to "step up" and become the club's main scoring threat this season, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

There have been calls to add another forward to the champions' roster after a mixed start to the campaign but the club are determined not to take minutes away from the improving Defoe.

He will be the main threat again tonight as the Eagles take on the Glasgow Rocks at Sport Central looking for their first league win of the season at the third attempt (tip off 7.30pm).

At the age of 24 it is a crucial season for the 6ft 9ins power forward, who posted a spectacular 31-point individual display in the BBL Trophy clash with Rocks a fortnight ago.

That is exactly the kind of impact that the Eagles management want replicated on a consistent basis.

To get those kind of displays regularly, though, Blake knows that he must be trusted to play big minutes in crucial games.

"I know we've been questioned about whether we're going to bring in another forward but the simple answer is no, because it will take minutes away from Darius," Blake said.

"He is our scoring forward and we've all got a lot of belief in him. He is a huge talent, one that has been with us for a long time, and now we need to let him take that responsibility on. In turn he needs to step up and take that responsibility on now, which he is beginning to do. "We saw that earlier in the season when he scored 31 points against Glasgow after a little bit of re-focusing during the week.

"That was a fantastic display - to score that many points on Sterling Davis at his age really illustrates what we've been saying about Darius all along.

"He has got better and better with us since he's been here. …

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