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Joel Osborne


Posted Monday, April 16th 2018

Burns reflects on spell as acting head coach

Nick Burns has reflected on his four-game tenure as Bristol Flyers’ acting head coach.

Burns finished his spell as interim head coach with a 3-1 record, picking up victories against Sheffield Sharks and Manchester Giants, whilst splitting a pair of games against play-off rivals Cheshire Phoenix.

Andreas Kapoulas is set to fly into Manchester airport on Tuesday afternoon and is hoping to make it back to Bristol in time for the Flyers’ clash with Sheffield Sharks at the WISE Arena (7.30pm).

“He's going to have to fight me if wants to coach the team again,” Burns joked with Bristol Flyers TV.

"In all seriousness I'm delighted he's coming back; I don't know how these guys do it, it's been really hard work.

"I was lucky to get to do it during a two-week break from work and the overriding impression from me is how difficult a job it is for these professional coaches.

"The work they put in and the stress involved in doing the scouting, getting the game plan together and training the team. Then when you put them out on the court you're totally reliant on what they do."

"I'm lucky because the guys fought all the way for me - all four games they've given everything for me and I'm really proud of them.”

Nick Burns

Burns’ only defeat as acting head coach came at the hands of Cheshire Phoenix, in a heartbreaking 100-97 defeat on the buzzer in front of the BBC Sport cameras.

Malcolm Delpeche tied the game at 97 points apiece with just five seconds to play, before Malcolm Riley’s game-winning three pointer on the buzzer sent the Cheshire Oaks Arena into a frenzy, keeping their BBL play-off hopes alive.

"It's one of those games that's great for the spectators, but it’s hard to take a loss there.” added Burns.

"We've only got ourselves to blame. If you let a team score 100 points and get a 20-point lead in the first half you can't expect to be winning games.

"I'm just very proud of the way the guys came back, they showed a lot of guts and determination.

"I hope the people who've been knocking British basketball after the Commonwealth Games were watching that, because I think both teams showed tremendous quality, to provide fantastic entertainment for the crowd.

"Fair play to Malcolm Riley, he made some big plays and it was a big three point shot that he hit."

Leslee Smith did not feature in Friday's game against Cheshire

Flyers are still waiting on the fitness of Leslee Smith, who is currently listed as ‘day-to-day’ after missing Friday’s game against the ‘Nix’.

"Leslee injured his ankle in training on Tuesday. We weren't sure until today if he'd make the game or not.

"Hopefully it's not too bad and he'll be back next week, but whether that's for Tuesday or for the weekend we don't know.

"We want to make sure he's ok for the two difficult games we have next weekend.”

Tickets for Tuesday’s game against Sheffield Sharks will be available to buy on the door from 6.30pm.

Also on Bristol Flyers TV