Forman calls for Hawks to stay focused

Form on the training court isn't necessarily the best guide, but the Wollongong Hawks are showing no signs of nerves ahead of Saturday's must-win road clash with Melbourne.

Maybe they were inspired by coach Gordie McLeod's 25-minute dressing down on Monday morning.

Maybe it's just the need to exorcise the demons of last week's one-point overtime loss to Adelaide.

Either way, the Hawks trained confidently and purposefully for almost three hours yesterday at the Snakepit, executing their offence sharply and encouraging each other.

If they reproduce similar form against the Tigers, the Hawks are a good chance of claiming their 11th win of the season and squaring their regular season series with the Tigers at two games apiece.

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Wollongong would also move back into third spot, overtaking the Tigers by a couple of percentage points in the win-loss column.

"We need four good quarters with virtually no lapses," captain Oscar Forman said.

"The first five didn't start well the other night [against Adelaide] and the bench came in and gave us a lift and got us back into it.

"As the first five, we can't have games where we're relying on other guys to come in. We have to set the tempo for the rest of the team."

Despite losing twice to Perth in the past fortnight, the Tigers (10-12) still have their noses in front of the Hawks (10-14).

Wollongong blew a perfect chance to reclaim third spot with the loss to the 36ers.

"The game was pretty hard to swallow, but you can't feel sorry for yourself too long," Hawks forward Tim Coenraad said.

"We've got a game plan for Melbourne. They've had two hard games against Perth, but they're playing good basketball and they're definitely going to be a tough match-up."

Coenraad poured in a career-high 28 points in the loss to Adelaide and might have earned National Basketball League player of the week honours if Wollongong had won.

"We had some pretty good performances from some people and we had had a few guys who were down, but that's going to happen," McLeod said.

"Timmy had a blinder and we're going to need that from different people."

Melbourne guard Jonny Flynn looms as the Hawks' greatest threat, though they will also have to shut down three-point bomber Chris Goulding and bruising centre Seth Scott.

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