Giants clash is '˜season defining' for Leeds Force, says coach Newby

Leeds Force coach Matt Newby has described tomorrow's clash with Manchester Giants as a 'season defining' game.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 25th February 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:44 am
Rob Marsden.
Rob Marsden.

The Force travel over the Pennines for a bottom-of-the-table clash with the Giants in a game both teams need to win.

Both sides occupy the bottom two places in the league with the Force only above them on points difference.

Newby’s men lead the series 1-0, having beaten Manchester earlier in this season in Lancashire – their only victory on the road in 2016/17.

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“Securing the series on Sunday will be huge for us. It is imperative that we win the game and it could be the catalyst for the rest of the season,” said Newby.

With both sides going all out for the win, Newby is expecting a difficult game but one that will suit his players.

He said: “It will be a scrap, but I think it will suit our players more.

“They enjoy those types of games, so if it comes down to it, I think my players will have the experience in this type of situation.”

Despite going into the game on the back of four defeats in a row, Newby was happy with his side’s performance against the Sharks in the Yorkshire derby a week ago.

He added: “The defeat hurt of course, but I was so proud of the performance of the players, especially on defence. The only thing I had to say was we could have been stronger on offensive rebounds.

“I have always said if the performances are good then we will pick up wins along the way. So if we can keep recreating the way we played against Sheffield we will pick up points.”

Having seen his side make the play-offs for the first time a year ago, thanks to impressive results in February and March, Newby knows it is possible.

He said: “We went on a great run last year so we know it can be done.

“The programme as a whole has improved here so we know it still can be done.”

Jermaine Sanders missed the game with the Sharks due to a back problem and is still being closely monitored by the medical staff.

Rob Marsden has also picked up a knock to his back and is a doubt to take on his former side tomorrow.