HEAD coach Paul James admits Worcester Wolves are “desperate” for a win as they take on Cheshire Phoenix at the University of Worcester Arena tonight (7.30pm).

But James insists his players need to focus on putting in a “really disciplined” display and not get involved in any individual scraps.

Wolves came agonisingly close to condemning leaders Newcastle Eagles to their first defeat of the season as they led by 19 points at the Sport Central.

But their failure to stop an Eagles backlash saw Worcester lose 101-96 and extend their winless run in the league to three matches.

“We are desperate to get a win,” said James who is looking to challenge for a top-three spot this season.

“We could have done a better job against Surrey.

“But we have played London and Newcastle who are both tipped to be in the top two or three in the league this season.

“As the season goes on I would like to think we will start picking up wins and learn from those experiences early doors.”

Cheshire finished third from bottom last term but James believes their opponents have strengthened this summer with the additions of ex-Wolves players Orlan Jackman and Andrew Bachman.

“Cheshire have got some good players and have just beaten London on their floor so it is going to be another competitive game,” James said.

“But the one thing we don’t want it to be is an up-and-down scrappy game because that’s what they want it to be.

“We need to be really organised and concentrate on what we need to do both offensively and defensively.

“We just need to produce a really disciplined performance and not get into any individual battles with players.”

Captain Ashton Khan, Brandon Parrish, Trayvon Palmer, George Beamon and Jermel Kennedy were handed starting spots against Newcastle.

And James is likely to stick with that line-up but having let their lead slip last week admits he will need to adjust his tactics for the final quarter.

“As coaches we have got to find the right combinations and rotations of players to make sure we have a good balance both offensively and defensively,” James added.

“That takes time but we went a long way last Friday to figuring that out.

“We did a great job for the first 30 minutes but now we need to look at the way we finish games and find out who the best finishers on the team are.

“That doesn’t mean looking for players who can score as it is about stopping the opposition as well.”