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London Lions in transition but Macaulay takes aim at the play-offs

London Lions coach Vince Macaulay. Picture: EMPICS London Lions coach Vince Macaulay. Picture: EMPICS

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
1:16 PM

London Lions head coach Vince Macaulay feels his side are in transition this season ahead of their final two games of the regular season.

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His Worcester Wolves counterpart Paul Jones said that the Lions are ‘a team in transition, getting used to a new home [The Copper Box] and what they can do in it,’ which is something the Lions boss agrees with.

The Lions will finish in sixth place ahead of their final two fixtures against Plymouth and Manchester this weekend and Macaulay is already looking ahead to the post season.

He told London24: “I think he [Jones] is absolutely right.

“We are only in our second season in London - our first season in the Copper Box, which brings a number of challenges, the facility itself, London as a whole, we are very much in transition - but very much going in the right direction.”

The Lions have only won two of their last nine games, but despite this Macaulay insists they have adapted well to life at the former Olympic venue.

Macaulay explained: “I thought it helped us to be fair up until a month and a half ago and obviously a bad run of results makes you ponder.

“Last night was a terrific game in front of over 2,000 people in a great atmosphere and a very high quality game.

“I don’t think it has hindered us, I think it has helped us - but I think we’ve also got to look at players with broader shoulders to take us to the next level.”

Defeat to Worcester last Thursday added to the Lions’ woe and the London coach feels Wolves were deserved winners.

“We hung in there with them in the first quarter, we had a couple of mental breakdowns in the second, but we were still within touching distance,” he added.

“They then shot the ball so well that opened quite a big lead, we had to regroup and came back solidly, we got it back to nine points and we were back in recovery mode.

“Unfortunately we got two technical fouls against us that gave then four free-throws and then they got possession and scored a three off of that, and basically the game was away for us at that point.

“Half of the game, from a performance perspective wasn’t terrible, but it was because of mental breakdowns that we had early in the third that gave the edge to a team still causing for the league title.”

The Lions host the Plymouth Raiders on April 18 before travelling to Manchester Giants on April 20, but Macaulay is going to use this time until the end of the season wisely.

He added: “Right now, we need to beat anybody! We’re looking for any five people to walk in the Copper Box and jump on them, we just need to win a game, getting ready for the play-offs.

“Whatever happens, win all the games, lose all the games, we can’t move.

“It’s all about getting ready for the play-offs - trying out tactics we will be using, trying to get everybody fit and healthy and just trying to get everybody positively in the same direction.

“You’ve got to hit a rhythm in the play-offs, it’s two games over a weekend and you’ve got to perform for those 80 minutes.

“There’s no second chance - or you’re going home.”

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