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Slumping United face big road test in NBL

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016

Melbourne United coach Dean Demopoulos remains confident in his undermanned squad despite falling short against New Zealand in the NBL on Friday night.

Inspired by a career-best performance from reserve guard Kyle Adnam, United battled hard against a more experienced Breakers outfit, almost winning the match in regulation before going down 98-92 in overtime at Hisense Arena.

Demopoulos isn't shying away from the slump.

"Nobody's happy fellas, I don't know if you looked at our record," he said.

"We are not pleased, and no one is satisfied with anything around here right now ... and they shouldn't be.

"But we work at it every day, and we will continue to irrespective of the outcome and the result of the game."

United now travel to Wollongong for a clash against the Hawks on Sunday, knowing a fourth consecutive loss would leave them stranded in the bottom half of the NBL ladder after five rounds.

But Demopoulos does not expect his charges to hang their heads for too long.

"We are all mad today ... hopefully, we use it as fuel for some positive energy, collective positive energy, and we point it in Illawarra's direction."

Adnam top-scored for United with 19 points off the bench, a performance that did not surprise his coach.

"It's when opportunity meets preparation that this stuff happens and it couldn't happen to a better guy," he said.

"He's got unbelievable spirit, he fights like a tiger, and he's not afraid of anyone or anything."

Todd Blanchfield, who torched the Hawks with eight three-pointers in United's round two victory, joins fellow wingmen Chris Goulding and David Barlow on the sidelines after hurting his groin at training during the week.

"Yeah, he should be out a while ... he pulled it pretty good," said Demopoulos.

"But he's young and resilient and hungry, so he'll be back when he's ready, and he'll work hard to get there. Because we need him, obviously ... we need them all."

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