Double-header's a chance to bolster league position for Leeds Force

Leeds Force return to action this week with a double-header as they hit the road to take on the Bristol Flyers tonight before entertaining the Plymouth Raiders at home on Sunday.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:37 pm
Absent friend: Leeds Forces Disraeli Lufadeju will sit out this weekends games against Bristol Flyers and Plymouth Raiders after injuring a ligament in his finger. (Picture: Kieron Nevison)

The Force had a weekend off last week as they took time to work behind closed doors in the gym to concentrate on solidifying their plays.

They return with games against two teams in and around them in the BBL table and envisage coming away with four points to bolster their chances of getting into the play-offs.

First up, they make the 400-mile round trip to face the Bristol Flyers tonight, who sit bottom of the league ladder.

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Despite having picked up only one win in 12 and being six points off the play-offs, head coach Matt Newby does not see this as an easy game.

“Okay, they are where they are in the table, but they will be looking to put a run together so we need to be at our best and make sure it doesn’t start against us,” he said.

With another game so close afterwards against a team higher in the table, Newby will be making sure his men are equally focused for the game against the Flyers.

He cautioned: “We can’t be complacent, we have only picked up one win recently so there’s no absolutely reason for us to be complacent.

“We have a job to do out there and we will make sure we do it to the best of our ability.”

On Sunday, Leeds will play host to the Raiders, who the Force pipped for the final play-off spot last season.

Regardless of the long trip his team need to make tonight, coach Newby knows it is part and parcel of the game:

“Every team in the league has to do it. As long as we recover properly and look after the bodies during the Bristol game it won’t be a problem.”

He also spoke of his admiration of the job Plymouth are doing this season. “They are flying just now. They have a talented, deep roster which they are using well so they will be fresh and looking to beat us. We need to be on our game for the full 40 minutes.”

Sunday’s game will be the last game at the Carnegie Sports Arena in 2016 for the Force. Newby said: “It will be a special game for us; it’s a chance to put us in good stead for the new year and also give the fans something to cheer about for the last time this year.”

Newby has some injury worries to contend with as Jack Isenbarger will miss another weekend of action as he is struggling with a shoulder problem. Disraeli Lufadeju will also sit out the double header after injuring a ligament in his finger.

Following this weekend, Force visit county rivals Sheffield Sharks in a week’s time.