PREVIEW: Fitness levels praised ahead of Team Bath clash

Head Coach Mel Mansfield has praised the fitness levels of her Wasps Netball players ahead of their trip to Team Bath on Friday.

The league leaders will play their second game in five days when they take on Team Bath on Friday 22 February (centre-pass 7.30pm).

Wasps took all three points when they travelled to Cardiff on Monday night but Mansfield revealed she had planned for the quick four-day turnaround before facing Celtic Dragons.

“We have been looking at these games as eight quarters, rather than two four-quarter matches,” said Mansfield.

“Before playing Dragons we were very conscious of the short gap before we play Team Bath and we have worked hard to ensure the team goes into Friday’s game as fresh as possible.

“It is tough to have two games close together but these girls are tough, they are elite athletes and will be at full strength against Team Bath.

“All 12 of our squad had court-time in the last fixture and we will have a full squad available again, with no injury concerns.

“We have been making a lot of changes in games but we’re not making changes for the sake of it, every change is made to make a difference.”

The last time Wasps met Team Bath was in the pre-season Tri Tournament at Ricoh Arena with the Black and Golds coming out on top.

The two sides’ previous Vitality Netball Superleague meeting came in last season’s semi-final – with Wasps progressing on their way to a second successive league title.

Mansfield believes it will be a clash of two teams who will be challenging at the top of the table at the end of the season, and her side will need to be clinical to come away winners.

She said: “It will be a great contest with some top players on display, including an array of England players.

“We’re putting in good performances at the moment but we need to be more clinical.

“It’s important we reduce our unforced error count and we made some good progress in driving those errors out of our game against Dragons.

“Facing Team Bath will be another good test but as always securing three points is what matters.”

Wasps Netball’s next home fixture at Ricoh Arena will be against Strathclyde Sirens on Saturday 2 March (7pm centre-pass).

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