DURHAM WILDCATS have their work cut out for them this evening as they attempt to halt Newcastle Eagles’ winning streak.

Eagles’ run stretched to 12 games last weekend, and having been beaten 99-73 last time out, Wildcats know they need full concentration if they are to improve on that score at Sport Central this evening.

“We have to work on starting out fully concentrated, we have had a few slow starts that have put us in difficult positions for the rest of the game,” said Ralph Bucci ahead of a double-fixture weekend that sees them host Surrey United on Sunday.

“We know Newcastle will be well prepared and will not allow us to get anything easy, we just have to try to match their intensity and be focused.”

Eagles’ Charles Smith has warned that there is more to come from the reigning champions, with improvements to be made on both ends of the floor.

“It was another good weekend for us,” said Smith. “Momentum is key, we want to continue this run as long as we can. No one is thinking about how many wins in a row, we are taking one game at a time and trying to be better each game.”

“We still haven't put a complete game together on either end of the floor. Now that there is a break in BUCS we can practice together as a complete team ever day and get everyone on the same page.”

The first win in Eagles’ impressive perfect sequence came against Wildcats in just their second game of the season.

Wildcats will no doubt be out to make it unlucky 13 for their North East rivals, but Smith and co. will be well prepared for the challenge that awaits them.

“Durham are a very tough team they play hard and play together,” said Smith.

“They are very well coached and have several players that can put in a winning performance on any given night. So we will scout and watch film on them so we can be prepared for them.”

Wildcats should expect an easier run-out in Newton Aycliffe 48 hours later, having ran out 102-55 winners over the BBL side in January. And United have already highlighted Bucci as the man to fear.

“The challenge is Ralph Bucci,” said Jack Majewski. “If you minimise his influence over the game then you can make a big dent on Durham as a team.”