HEAD coach Paul James believes Worcester Wolves are “not far off” from challenging leaders Leicester Riders in the British Basketball League.

But he insisted his side needed to put together another winning streak to close the gap as they prepare to take on Bristol Flyers at the University of Worcester Arena tomorrow (7.30pm).

Wolves went on a run of nine straight victories in all competitions before losing 91-82 at Leicester last Saturday.

But James was encouraged by the way his team played and felt they were capable of defeating Riders who have lost just one league games this term.

Ninth-placed Worcester are 12 points behind Leicester with a game in hand.

“Although we are disappointed with the defeat we did some good things that tell us we are not far off,” James said.

“We had 20 turnovers and they scored 24 points off those. That’s unusual as we have been averaging 11 or 12 a game, so if we can take care of the ball better we are right in the match.

“Generally, if we stick to the game plan, run our sets and everyone plays to the best of their ability we are challenging anybody. We didn’t see the best of some of our players against Leicester so there is plenty more to come from us.”

James also reckons new signing Mike Ojo will raise Wolves’ game as the point guard looks set to make his debut.

“In December we played to a very high level but I thought we actually went to another level last Saturday,” James said.

“We could have won that game if it wasn’t for the odd mistake at key moments.

“But we have got to keep working hard, keep believing in each other and we can go on another run of wins.

But James stressed the importance of getting off to a quick start against Bristol who are one place above Wolves.

“We know Bristol are going to come here and play hard for 40 minutes,” James said.

“They are a team that we cannot afford to have a slow start against them. We have got to come out, get ourselves into our sets quickly and play to our strengths.”

Alex Navajas is expected to skipper the side, but James admitted he had no appointed a club captain since Ashton Khan departed last month.

“I have put Alex down as captain at the moment,” James added.

“But I could pick any of my players to be the captain.

“It’s something we will think about.

“But Alex is probably the most experienced player that we have got and other players look to him and listen to what he has to say.”