Clark focused on must-win EuroBasket clash with Iceland

19 August 2014 / 13:44

Dan Clark knows there is no more room for slip ups if Great Britain men’s basketball team want to keep their faint hopes alive of making next summer’s EuroBasket finals.

Clark and his team have endured a difficult start to their EuroBasket qualifying campaign losing their opening two games against Iceland and Bosnia.

The most recent game saw Great Britain fail to recover from a slow start, falling to an 80-67 reverse against Bosnia on Wednesday night at London’s Copper Box Arena.

Only the top team in the three-nation group is guaranteed a place at the finals, with Great Britain now facing an challenging task to make it four consecutive appearances at the competition.

But with an all-or-nothing game against Iceland back in the capital on Wednesday, Clark called on the players to step up to the mark.

“Iceland is a must-win game now if we are to have any chance of qualifying for EuroBasket, which obviously is our goal, so we have to win and we will probably have to win by at least the points difference that they beat us by,” said Clark, a former Solent Stars player.

"It's a very important game so we have to really focus on beating them and beating them well to put us in a good position for the final game in Bosnia. If we play our game and try to focus on what we're doing well then I think that's the way forward for us.

"The game against Bosnia was very tough. They're a good team, a very well-drilled team and we didn't get off to a great start which allowed them to get into a rhythm.

"We didn't really take them out of their rhythm until late in the second-half when we were playing catch-up and it's always difficult to do that with an experienced team like Bosnia, who know how to handle a situation. It's disappointing but this is a young group of guys and there's a lot of room to learn from that.”

Despite needing two wins from two in their remaining games, Clark was keeping thoughts positive, buoyed by the presence of some of the younger players in the squad like Ben Mockford who impressed against Bosnia.

"Ben's been great for us this year. He may not have gotten as many minutes as other guys but just his overall focus is fantastic,” he added.

“When he's on the bench he's always cheering his team-mates on and when he's in the game he's concentrated and you know that when he comes on he's going to be ready to play and he demonstrated that against Bosnia.

“With guys like him coming off the bench we’ve always got a good chance. Those guys are key players in this squad, so I'm happy for him, he definitely deserves it, and hopefully he can help us from here on out.”

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