THEY say a change is as good as a break. Fabulous Flournoy is just happy with the break.
The Newcastle Eagles end a two-week interval without action tonight (tip-off 7.30pm), when Cheshire Jets visit Sport Central in the BBL Championship.
Flournoy believes such lay-offs bring with them both positives and negatives.
On the plus-side, his players have been able to recharge batteries flattened somewhat by a fractured early-season fixture list.
On the other hand, the Eagles’ rivals have remained active, gathering momentum and ground.
The Newcastle outfit are still second in the table after one defeat – to leaders Leicester Riders – in nine matches.
Yet while bemoaning the threat of losing much-needed rhythm, Flournoy insists his preference is for a break at this stage of the campaign since it offers, more so than later in proceedings, the opportunity to make amends for any damage inflicted by adverse results.
But only so long as any lapsed rhythm is restored, and the Eagles pick up where previously they left off.
“The break’s been a good thing and a bad thing for us,” said Flournoy, whose side also travel to Plymouth Raiders in the first leg of the BBL Cup semi-final on Sunday (tip-off 4pm).
“It’s good that we’ve been able to give the guys some time off, and they haven’t incurred injuries. That’s a big benefit.
“But at the same time, everyone else has been playing, building momentum and getting wins, and moving up the table while we stay put.
“We’re not in a bad position, but another downside is that you can be in danger of losing game and playing rhythm.
“It’s my job now to try and make sure we get that back, that we pick up where we left off, flowing and gelling together.
“Hopefully, we can do that, because on balance I would always take the break now, at this stage of the season.
“The guys need it now, even if it’s just to recharge their batteries.
“If you break at a later stage it can hurt you more because there’s less time and fewer games to recover if anything goes wrong.
“If you lose, you have to make up lost ground, and at this stage there’s plenty of time to do that. It still hurts, but it’s not as detrimental.”
Accentuating further the benefit of their lay-off, Flournoy has a full and fit roster to select from for tonight’s home clash with Cheshire, who stand eighth in the 12-team BBL Championship table.
But the Eagles player-coach has warned his men against taking their opponents lightly, insisting the Jets remain potently dark horses.
“Cheshire are a potential banana skin, no doubt about it,” he said. “They are a dangerous team, and if we don’t respect them, if we don’t have the level of focus we need, we could slip up.
“We’re all experienced guys but so are they, and it’ll be a tough game after two weeks off.
“I know that at home, second in the table, we’re favourites, and we’ll be expected to win.
“But if we believe that all we have to do is just show up to win, that’s when problems occur.”