Sharks squad given warning by Lyons after fourth loss

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SHEFFIELD Sharks coach Atiba Lyons hasn’t ruled out making changes to his squad after seeing his team slump to their fourth BBL Championship defeat in a row to start the new season.

Victory in the BBL Cup on Friday night against Cheshire Jets at the EIS was Sheffield’s first success of the campaign but it was swiftly followed by a nightmare fourth quarter at Surrey Heat, where they were outscored 26-11 to lose 79-63.

It has left Lyons thinking about the make up of his squad, which received an overhaul during the summer.

He said: “It (changes) could happen. The guys are here to do a job and if they’re not doing it then I’ll have to make some tough decisions.

“It’s the same for everyone on the squad. I won’t not make a decision just because they’re a good guy or that I like them.”

Lyons is working on a tight budget this season and accepts that the club’s supporters may have to be patient as he builds a young team.

However, he says that age and potential count for nothing in the harsh world of professional sport.

Youngsters Colin Sing and Zach Gachette are in their second season with the club while they complete their studies at Sheffield Hallam University.

And while the pair are still developing as players Lyons says they can’t rely on their tag of ‘ones for the future’ for much longer.

“Their window is closing, that’s for sure,” he said.

“Probably more so for Colin at 23 than it is for Zach at 21. They need to show people that they’re employable as basketball players.

“Sport is a harsh business so they need to keep stepping up sooner rather than later.”

There’s no doubt that Sharks have enough quality to climb off the bottom of the BBL table.

Their performance against the Jets in a 90-59 win that set up a last eight home tie against Glasgow Rocks showed that they can put together a dominant display at both ends of the court.

It therefore left Lyons frustrated at their capitulation during the final quarter in Guildford just 48 hours later.

“There were lots of small things. We were called for a technical foul which they scored off and then had possession. The small things all add up to a loss,” he said.