Rob Marsden: Leeds Force are ready to give the Lions a tough test down in the capital

Jermaine Sanders
Jermaine Sanders
0
Have your say

It is game day and we are heading down to the capital to take on the London Lions, looking to end their unbeaten run.

I am confident we can go and do a number on them and cause an upset that will raise a few eyebrows around the league.

Robert Marsden, Leeds Force, (Photo: Kieron Nevison)

Robert Marsden, Leeds Force, (Photo: Kieron Nevison)

The boys are motivated and we think we can go down there and show just how good a side Leeds Force really are.

We righted a lot of wrongs against Leicester at the weekend. We changed a few things around and I think we played well for the majority of the game.

Unlike the week before, our heads didn’t drop, we kept fighting and it showed on the scoreboard.

Yes, they beat us but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the week before.

They are the league champions remember.

Going into that game we had a very strong week in training. The boys were honest with themselves and the group and we are a lot closer than before.

That can only be a positive for us, we will go through the lows together but also the highs.

We expect there to be a lot more highs this season.

Before the game I had a relaxed weekend. I got to spend some time with my girlfriend and take the dog for a long walk which helps me focus before a game.

We set off early on Sunday morning – put a bunch of good friends and a car together and relaxed.

Around half-an-hour before we got there, the joking and messing around stopped. We focussed on the job in hand and that focus and drive remained until the final buzzer.

This is a tough week for us. We were in training on Monday straight away preparing for this game against the Lions. We aren’t complaining, though, as we are lucky to do what we do. Yesterday was more of a light session and focusing on what we have to watch out for from the Lions.

The plan is to set off quite early in the morning to get there in plenty of time to get the legs working.

You know what London traffic is like – a nightmare.

On a personal level, this past week has given me a chance to get a full week’s training under my belt after being injured for two weeks.

My game felt quite good at Leicester, back to a level I know I can play at. Preparing for this game has been tough.

I’m sure the ankle will be fine but with two games in such a short period, I am hoping for no adverse reaction from it.

It will be a long trip for the Force faithful that travel the country with us. Hopefully, we will be able to treat them all to a nice win against the Lions and put an end to this losing run.

Teh fans all are part of the team with us and we need their support. We Are Force.

l Coach Matt Newby was happy with the improvement from his players against Leicester.

“‘It was a better performance from the boys, we did our own jobs a lot better but ultimately they were the better side,” he said after defeat for a second successive week against the Riders.

London have had a strong start to the campaign and even caused a major surprise beating the Newcastle Eagles 78-88 on their own patch.

Leeds will need to be on their game as the Lions have already scored 100-plus points in their last home game against Plymouth Riders. Newby says: “London have done well this so far this season, they have added some experienced players from around the league, including Zaire Taylor, whom we will need to keep an eye on.”

Of the short turnaround, he adds: “That’s the nature of professional basketball, every team in the league does it.”

Leeds, seeking their first win since the opener against Sheffield Sharks, have no new injury worries with Jermaine Sanders playing in a mask after breaking his nose.

Interview: Arif Ahmed

Eric Curth hit 12 points for Leeds Force (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Samuel Toluwase: Criticism of Leeds Force hurts but is vital to our journey