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Wildcats bank on honesty to end NBL funk

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5 days ago Justin Chadwick

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson says even he was on the receiving end of some brutally honest feedback during a heart-to-heart meeting with his player group this week.

Gleeson gave his team a roasting following Sunday's shock 89-85 loss to the Illawarra Hawks at Perth Arena.

It left the Wildcats precariously placed at 6-5 heading into Thursday night's crunch home clash with the Brisbane Bullets.

Monday was meant to be a day off for Wildcats players.

Instead, Gleeson ordered them in for a thorough video review session, and a heart-to-heart chat.

Gleeson and his fellow coaches made their points clear to the player group.

But they were also on the receiving end as well.

"It was refreshing. It put me back into place, (so) hopefully I can help them, and not hinder them," Gleeson said.

"I wear my heart on my sleeve when I'm coaching. It's a double edged sword sometimes.

"To build a great relationship, you've got to be open and honest. It was time to open up the floor (with that meeting).

"It was pretty cleansing I suppose.

"Now, we can't let it just be talk. It's got to be action on the court when the bright lights are on."

Thursday's match will mark the first time Bullets duo Jermaine Beal and Tom Jervis return to Perth Arena since helping the Wildcats win last season's Championship.

Although Jervis left Perth on his own accord, Beal was surprisingly axed by the Wildcats at the end of the season, despite NBL clubs being afforded an extra import slot.

Beal was tight-lipped during the pre-season when asked about his thoughts on being let go by the Wildcats.

Gleeson was also keen to play down the parting of ways when asked about it on Thursday.

But he expects the two-time title-winning Wildcat to come out firing for the Bullets on Thursday night.

"I think we might get Damo back out there to guard him," Gleeson joked, in reference to injured Wildcats skipper Damian Martin.

"I hope (Beal and Jervis) get a great, warm reception before the game.

"We have very fond memories of two great players that helped us win two Championships.

"But in the game, they're the opposition."

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