DURHAM WILDCATS embarked on a crucial six-game spell last weekend – one that could have a huge bearing on where they end up this season.

All six games during this key stretch are against teams below Durham in the table and the Wildcats know how important this next month will be in their bid to reach the playoffs for a second straight year. Especially as the season series will be on the line against a number of those opponents.

“We’ve got to make sure we get the head-to-heads,” insists Wildcats’ coach Lee Davie, whose side travel to Leeds Force on Friday and host Sheffield Sharks on Sunday.

“This is the last time we’re going to play Leeds and Manchester, and we’ll see both Surrey and Bristol for the second time.

“These are must-win games so we can make sure we put ourselves not only in a positive situation with the head-to-heads, but also a stronger position in the league table.”

With their longest winning streak at just two games this season, it’s fair to say consistency has eluded the Wildcats.

“We haven’t done as well as we would have liked over the last three or four weeks, because of the inconsistency, and now we find ourselves in a dogfight with the teams that are around us,” said Davie.

A number of persistent injuries throughout the team have not helped, but with the squad now getting back to full fitness, the Durham head coach is hoping for a good run of form.

“We’re still looking to turn the corner and we’ve taken some steps with some recent positive performances, but against other teams we’ve not had the consistency because of niggling injuries.”

He added: “We’re starting to look a little healthier now and you’re starting to see more consistent flashes of what we can be, and what we need to be.”

The Wildcats’ most recent win was also the most pleasing to date for Davie, whose side enjoyed a 44-point win over Surrey United, putting in a great effort from the opening tip to final buzzer.

While he still thinks his side have a lot of room for improvement, their performance on Sunday was pleasing to watch.

“We’re still trying to get on the same page as each other but Surrey was one of the first games where we could honestly say that everyone was playing well,” said Davie.

“We tried a few different styles of play and it was good to see guys contributing at both ends of the floor.”