TABLE-TOPPING Wasps Netball begin a sequence of three consecutive away games when they visit Manchester Thunder on Saturday.
And the Manchester Arena clash has taken on added significance following the black-and-golds’ last-time-out defeat against nearest Vitality Superleague rivals Loughborough Lightning.
This setback ended Wasps’ 13-match unbeaten start to the season, and with the chasing pack now within three points club captain Hannah Knights knows her team cannot afford another slip-up.
“We can’t afford to make simple mistakes like we did against Loughborough. We were punished for each mistake in that game,” she said.
“There are three away games in a row for us now.
“We really need to focus in these next few games – especially on the road because it’s always difficult when the crowd isn’t behind you.
“We need to continue to build to the end of the season.
“We take each game as it comes and we are focused on improving from the Lightning performance.
“We will look in-depth at the last time we played against Thunder because we know they are an elite side.”
The two teams last met at the Ricoh Arena in April, when Wasps edged a thrilling encounter 64-60, and netball director Tamsin Greenway is looking for her team to produce an immediate reaction to last week’s defeat.
“Thunder will look at what Loughborough did and try to replicate that,” she said.
“It was a really close game when we last played them and we know it will be again, especially with their fans behind them.
“We will be looking at what went wrong against Lightning and fixing those issues.
“We have to go to Manchester with more fire in our bellies.
“The next few weeks are going to be really interesting.
“There will be some real crunch games with the top four teams playing each other.
“We only need a couple of wins to cement a top four place and I’m confident we can do that.”
After trips to Manchester, Celtic Dragons and Team Bath Wasps’ final home game of the season brings benecosMavericks to Coventry on Monday, June 18 (7pm centre-pass).
Tickets are available from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets.