Preview: Rocks v Knights

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Paul Douglas and his Birmingham Knights can see they are getting closer to their first BBL victory, and that is building belief, ahead of Friday’s game at Glasgow Rocks.

Birmingham’s performances, if not results, have improved of late and Douglas feels the next step is to take advantage when they get into a good position.

He said: “It’s very important for us to keep our confidence up and the players can see that they are competing for longer stretches during games.

“We can see that we are capable of winning games and this helps with our confidence.

“They key thing for me is to ensure that we keep our composure when we have the upper hand and execute under pressure. The players know this and have been working hard in training so we can be more constant under pressure.”

The catalyst for this increased confidence was the team’s previous meeting with Glasgow where, despite losing 88-60, the BBL newcomers showed their potential.

Douglas added: “That game was the springboard for our improved play during December and our players can take a lot from our first-half performance against them.

“They will want to get back on track after their results from last weekend and Sterling Davis will definitely have his team prepared for us.

“But we are improving fast and it should be an entertaining game for the fans.”

Last time they met:

Birmingham Knights 60 Glasgow Rocks 88 (BBL Championship, North Solihull Sports Centre, 23/11/2013)

What they say:

Rocks coach Sterling Davis: “I want us to improve on our defensive execution. I feel we are still giving up too many points per game.

“Birmingham play with a lot of energy and hunger. They have proven to come out very strong so we need to plan for an early attack that hopefully will carry us through the game.”

Knights guard Martyn Gayle: “Confidence is one of those ‘Catch 22’ things. When it’s going your way it’s awesome when things aren’t, it can magnify everything and make something more demoralising.

“When we come into the game on Friday we will look to follow our gameplan closely and continue with the progression we have made this far. Daniel Northern and Gareth Murray are key focuses for us but our plan goes far beyond a couple of players.”

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