‘Become leaders not lethargic’ demands Lyons

Hunger needed: Atiba Lyons
Hunger needed: Atiba Lyons
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sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons is calling on his players to become ‘leaders’ ahead of tonight’s BBL Championship match with Leicester Riders at the EIS (7.30pm).

Sheffield have lost four matches in a row and look a shadow of the team that began the season with five consecutive wins.

Lyons claims that while his squad is potentially more talented than previous years it is lacking ‘hunger’ and leadership.

He said: “We’ve talked a lot about it (leadership) but it’s one thing telling someone to be a leader and another one them going out and doing it.

“This group has lots of talent but it is lacking that hunger at the moment, which we have had in other seasons.

“I don’t know who it will be that comes through and shows they are the leader on this team, but I’m looking for someone to do it.”

The One Health sponsored-Sharks are desperate to avoid a fourth defeat in the league that would make winning their first title since 2003 extremely difficult.

Riders are one of the favourites this season after a strong summer of recruitment by coach Rob Paternostro. Great Britain captain Andrew Sullivan was their highest profile signing, but Lyons says Riders have several other threats.

He said: “Rob’s put together a really good team. His American guys have come in and are playing very well. And he has got Sullivan as one of his British players.

“We’ve had a good week in practice really trying to tighten the screws at both ends of the court.

“Sometimes it’s like we have two teams out there. We execute well on occasions and then at other times become lethargic. We need to get on the same page.”