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Confident Wildcats head off on road trip

AAP logoAAP 9/12/2016 Brad Elborough

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson admits that managing his playing group over the next few weeks is tough, but warns that the club is used to this specific challenge.

The reigning premiers will play their next five game away from home while the Perth Arena transforms into a tennis court for the annual Hopman Cup.

But with the unique mixed team event being played at the Cats home every year, this challenge is not new to them.

Perth's next home game is against Adelaide on January 14, 2017, in round 15.

They play away to New Zealand (Dec 15), Adelaide (Dec 22), Illawarra (Dec 31), Sydney (Jan 7) and Brisbane (Jan 9) before then.

But Gleeson isn't fazed by the schedule.

"(This period) tests you. But we have been tested by it a number of times," he said.

"We're on the road the next five games; it's a big period for us.

"The good thing is it's a bit spread out. We have three to New Years Eve, so we don't have those back-to-back games until January.

"It's going to be a big time for us."

Perth snapped a four-game losing streak on Friday night when they beat United 92-89 but they have found the going tough away from the Perth Arena, winning just one of five; the round three clash against Melbourne United 72-69.

The four losses have been to Brisbane, Illawarra, Sydney and Adelaide - all sides they face in the next month.

They average 86 points per game at home, but only 74 away from the Arena.

And the likelihood is that their defensive gun Damian Martin won't be back on deck until those five games are completed.

The round 15 clash against the 36ers in Perth on January 14 is a more realistic goal for his return from knee injury.

However what they now have is an in-form Casey Prather.

Prather dropped 39 points, 11 rebounds and five assists against Melbourne and stepped into the point guard role at times, organising the Cats offense; something he hasn't done much before, but is happy to continue doing in the absence of the team's injured captain.

"I love playing point guard," Prather said.

"I just want to be as aggressive as I can, and my teammates did a great job finding me when I was hot.

"Any time you can add another element to your game, it's good. Playing point guard challenges me; it's a different position to what I have played before.

"I want to grow as a player and hopefully that can help me."

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