No talking turkey just yet for big man Dobbins

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sheffield Sharks centre Justin Dobbins wants a happy Christmas even though he may be celebrating it thousands of miles from home in a city centre hotel.

Dobbins, who has been one of Sharks’ most consistent performers in an up and down season so far for the club, has decided to remain in Sheffield for the festive period rather than return to America.

He said two wins this weekend against MK Lions tonight (7.30pm) at the EIS and then at Durham Wildcats tomorrow will be the perfect present: “It’s important we win these matches and go into Christmas on a run. We’ve had a slump but we’ve worked hard the last couple of weeks and now we’re getting through it. I’m staying in Sheffield for Christmas, I don’t want to get caught out with travelling.

“I think I’ll be at the hotel, I don’t know who’ll I be having Christmas dinner with!”

Dobbins, who stands 6’8” tall scored 26 points against Lions in a pre-season victory for Sheffield at the EIS in September.

Only player-coach Atiba Lyons and point-guard Jimmy Langhurst will be flying back to America for a break before Sharks next match at Glasgow Rocks on December 30.

Last year bad weather meant there were delays in players’ journeys back to Sheffield, which resulted in a heavy defeat against Newcastle Eagles on January 2.

While Milton Keynes are the first priority tonight, Lyons isn’t taking tomorrow’s match at Durham lightly despite a comfortable 93-77 win a fortnight ago. He said: “They are a talented young team that are deadly from long range. They are very gritty and you have to be ready for a 40 minute battle.

“They have a very balanced team it’s hard to limit it to just one guy. They all contribute.

“We played a strong defensive game last time. We also responded well to their runs late in the game. We kept a level head.”