Coach under the pump as Hawks struggle

WOLLONGONG coach Gordie McLeod's future looks shaky as the foundation NBL club fights to avoid its worst season.

Speculation suggests all is not well between McLeod (pictured) and the Hawks management - a situation that could worsen should the club slump to its 20th loss from 24 games at home to Melbourne United tonight.

It also has to back up on Sunday against ladder leader Cairns.

In its defence, Wollongong has been competitive, losing seven games in a row by single-figure scores.

Melbourne dropped to fifth after Sunday's shock loss to Townsville, and can rejoin fourth-placed Adelaide with a win tonight.

The win against Melbourne kept the Crocs' faint finals hopes alive, but on Sunday they confront a rampant Adelaide that has won eight of its last nine games under premiership-winning coach Joey Wright.

Perth's grip on third place will be tested when it hosts a desperate Sydney Kings, also on Sunday.

The sixth-placed Sydney showed it had the ability to match it with the best when it travelled to New Zealand and knocked over the Breakers by 20 points last round, but might struggle without former NBA star Josh Childress who has been ruled out for the season after tearing a pectoral muscle in Auckland.

The Wildcats are still adjusting to life without injured big man Matt Knight, and need American guard Jermaine Beal, last season's grand final MVP, to recapture his best form.

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