The Lions have made big strides – Ackermann

FILE PICTURE: Johan Ackermann (Lions Coach). Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann said this week the team have come a long way this year and if they don’t beat the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday and fail to make the playoffs, it doesn’t mean the season was unsuccessful.

“We’ll just keep working hard, the players know where they stand with me, they just got to keep working hard for the jersey, and as long as they can do that I can’t ask for more,” he said.

“If we go higher than we are then it’s great but the growth since last year is definitely there, there’s still a lot of work to do, nobody has achieved anything yet, we are not in the playoffs, we haven’t won the Currie Cup, we haven’t won any trophies,

“So for me there’s a lot of growth in store as a coach and also for the players, but we must also be realistic and remember where we started six months ago, so there have been big strides.”

Ackermann said to get five points is a difficult one to think about, it would be arrogant and they must just stay in the moment, just play the game and let the result look after itself.

“If it’s meant to be a win we’ll take it, if there’s a bonus it will be that, a bonus, the Stormers are definitely a quality side, they deserve to be where they are,” he said.

“They have good players and to go there with anything else in mind, just to play your normal game would be the wrong mindset, the message to the guys is to stay in the same structures and preparation, as for any other game and if that’s good enough, if they do their job well and bring us over the winning line, then I’ll be satisfied.”

Ackermann said it’s almost unreal the last six months have flown by.

“The season went by quickly, but maybe we’ll look back, it’s still not in our hands, anything can happen, even if we win there’s other games that can go against us, but the reality is 17 weeks went by quickly, and it feels like the other day in January when we prepared hard.

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