Guildford Heat coach Creon Raftopoulos has admitted that his team are set for a tough weekend in the British Basketball League as they take on Leicester and Glasgow in the space of two days.
Guildford go into this weekend’s action on the back of a 98-78 defeat to the Worcester Wolves and referring specifically to this encounter, Raftopoulos admits that his team need to raise their game.
Speaking exclusively to bblfans.com, the Zimbabwean said: “We obviously could have performed a lot better. They (Worcester) are a well coached team and they execute well.”
“Our legs perhaps got a bit heavy in the fourth quarter. They were obviously in slightly better condition than us.”
“It’s just about us being competitive. We’ve kind of been like Jekyll and Hyde. We’re just not sure which team is going to turn up, as you can tell from our results.”
The defeat – which came on the back of two successive wins – was in front of the Sky Sports cameras too and Raftopoulos admits that this does add some pressure on the shoulders of his players.
“As a coach, we try to keep it as low-key as possible and not put too much focus on it. Players will be aware that the cameras are around, which might put a little bit more pressure on them as mistakes are easily highlighted.”
This is behind Raftopoulos’ men now though and focus must turn to Leicester and Glasgow with every single game crucial at this stage of the season.
Discussing this weekend, he continued: “It’s going to be a tough weekend. Any time we are playing teams above us we know that we have got out work cut out. I think the key thing is taking one game at a time.”
“Leicester are still right up there and they won’t want to drop a game. We just want to solidify our position in the play-offs and we know that if we have a good weekend, we can go as high as 6th place.”
Raftopoulos also gave some insight into how his team prepares for away games, such as Saturday’s trip to Leicester.
“Away games are never easy. Your owners will try and do the best they can to make sure you are comfortable. This weekend we are just going up to Leicester which isn’t too far.”
“We normally get a coach ride and arrive at least two hours before tip-off. We relax for about an hour, then get onto the court. We just get the players to try and relax as much as they can and get their mindset right.”
Raftopoulos finished by saying that it had been a ‘tough season’ for everyone involved at Guildford and that he would love his team to finish strongly, perhaps climbing to 6th in the table in the process.
This ambition will certainly be assisted if Guildford Heat can pick up a couple of positive results this weekend. Their clash at Leicester on Saturday is followed by a home game against Glasgow on Sunday.