Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flournoy Is Looking Forward to Eagles' Litmus Test

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flournoy Is Looking Forward to Eagles' Litmus Test

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas Chief sportswriter

FAB Flournoy feels the next fortnight will be the litmus test for his high-flying Newcastle Eagles team.

His new-look team have piled on the points against the BBL's lightweights, brushing aside Manchester Giants and Birmingham Knights with two impressively offensive performances last weekend.

But the player-coach is bracing them for a step up in class when they face old rivals Glasgow Rocks tonight - before a mouth-watering Sport Central meeting with early pace-setters Worcester Wolves next weekend. Flournoy knows that there will be "fireworks" on Friday and thinks a stern examination awaits against Worcester, but he is ready for both in the coming days.

"This is a big, big test for us. Glasgow Rocks are our big rivals and I predict this will be one of those good, old-fashioned Eagles versus Glasgow Rocks games," he said.

"We always have fireworks when our teams clash and then we have Worcester the weekend after, who are right at this moment playing extremely well. They are still the only unbeaten team in the BBL.

"This next fortnight will be a huge test for us and even more so because it is one game a week there will not be back-to-back games. Whoever loses this Friday will have to deal with it for a week and that is always more difficult. We will learn a lot about ourselves and what kind of team we are over the next two weeks."

There is no doubt that the newlook Eagles have potential and in Scott Martin, Malik Cooke and Paul Gause they have added real firepower to the Newcastle mix.

Flournoy has been delighted with the way they have settled in and Cooke's early form - which included a breathtaking 32-point haul in the Manchester game last weekend - has raised hopes that the Eagles have a new fan favourite in the making.

Flournoy's job at this point is to bring supporters and the roster back down to earth after their fine start, which has seen Cooke and company hailed for their impressive starts. …

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