Marc Steutel hailed a massive offensive contribution from star import Malcolm Smith as another perfect winning weekend kept title-chasing Team Northumbria on track.
The Sport Central club sit four points clear of their Division One rivals with four games to play.
And Smith’s 60 point haul on the road bodes well for Saturday’s tough trip to Hemel.
“Malcolm was immense at the offensive end,” said Stuetel after the US forward poured in 30 points against both Loughborough and Manchester.
“He proved his class in both matches and was cool under pressure when the opposition tried to get physical.
“He went to the line 15 times against Loughborough and was just as clinical against Manchester.
“Of course his points tally will be what hits the headlines but the rest of the guys did a fantastic job of finding him in space all weekend.”
TN defeated Loughborough 75-68 ahead of the club’s biggest game to date against Manchester.
“At the tip both teams had identical records in terms of losses and it felt lie one of those really big and significant matches,” added Steutel.
“However, as we showed in the cup final those are the kind of games that we love and the significance of the fixture brought out the best in my players.
“Once again Malcolm was magnificent at the offensive end and dealt with everything that Manchester had to throw at him.
“However, I was just as pleased with our defensive effort. We limited Stefan Gill - one of their biggest offensive threats - to just five points.
“We did the same to Josh Walker at Loughborough the previous night and all weekend we didn’t let up.
“Tayo Oyefusi was a key contributor defensively and really made a difference. But the reason we won both games is because of the effort from the whole team.”
TN must win at least three of their remaining four games to guarantee the league title and face three more matches on the road before a Sport Central finale against Team Solent on March 26.
“All we’re thinking about right now is our next match against Hemel,” added Steutel. “It’s never an easy place to go and they’re in a battle to stay in the playoff picture.
“We will need to stay focused and stick to what we do best.”