Isaac Mourier: Champion test ahead of winnable home clash

Isaac Mourier
Isaac Mourier
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WE have a winnable game on Friday at home against Plymouth, but firstly we’ve got today’s Leicester game in our sights – it’ll be a tough ask against the newly-crowned league champions but we’re looking forward to the challenge.

We couldn’t handle London a week ago, fatigue played a large part in that, but everyone saw the score and we know there needs to be an improvement.

Zak Wells

Zak Wells

We have to forget last week’s loss, you have no choice but to get it out of your head and move on to the next one – we haven’t spoken about it much as a group because we’re just eager to return to the court and compete for wins in the next few days.

Plymouth haven’t done quite as well as they would’ve hoped for this season, but they obviously have a great roster, which is why they’re still a dangerous side.

They have a number of my team-mates from last year – Eddie Matthew, Louis Sayers and Zak Wells – who all left Leeds Force last summer and I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to coming back up to Leeds for the first time this year.

We haven’t had much practice time over the last few weeks since we haven’t been able to lock down any permanent training facilities for financial reasons, and that has obviously hurt our preparation and has affected us tenfold.

We have nothing to lose whatsoever right now, but we certainly won’t be giving up in our fight for another win before the season ends.

Isaac Mourier

You can’t work out your weaknesses, and you can’t really learn how to play with each other as a team if you don’t have those precious hours of practice, and it’s been detrimental to our performances both as a team and as individuals.

All we can do is give everything we have – you have to muster up that toughness and energy, find that intensity and watch as much tape on the opposition as you can.

We have nothing to lose whatsoever right now, but we certainly won’t be giving up in our fight for another win before the season ends.

It’s important we keep the guys who’ve stuck around all year, and I think the coaching staff will be lucky to get those guys back. Retaining players is pivotal because new guys who join the team can see and feel a culture when they arrive.

Louis Sayers

Louis Sayers

It works much better than when a bunch of new guys come in all at once as was the case at the start of the season, since it becomes easier to buy in to a culture and gel together as a unit.

Our head coach Danny Nelson has been given a really tough job this year, and the results aren’t a reflection of him or his ability to coach.

It was an impossible task from the beginning unfortunately, which has been obvious to everyone from the beginning of the season.

Personally, he’s really helped me develop my game – we haven’t had as much time to work on individual skill, but he’s always believed in me and given me an opportunity to lead this team through a difficult year.

I can’t stress it enough – if everything is in place in the next few weeks, one off-season can change everything.

If we can maintain a core group of players, and if all the off-court issues are attended to regarding the management and organisation, then there’s no reason why Leeds can’t be a force to be reckoned with next season.

That’s it for this week’s column. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at Carnegie Sports Arena as we take on Leicester Riders this afternoon (3:30pm) and Plymouth Raiders on Friday (7:30pm).

Interview: Seb Gigner