Leppa: Lions need time to build

Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch has pleaded for patience as his struggling AFL side prepares for another monumental task on Saturday against wounded premiers Hawthorn.

The Lions have lost their last three matches by a combined 218 points and are rank outsiders to beat the Hawks at the Gabba.

Leppitsch said the Lions need no reminder of just how bad their results have been but stressed they were in the middle of a long-term rebuild, with the AFL’s youngest and least-experienced list.

“I think we’re a very impatient industry, to be honest. Often we want to build the Taj Mahal in six months,” Leppitsch told reporters on Friday.

“It’s just the way we work and operate and we have to comment week-by-week about something that’s going to take a while to build.

“The boys are under more pressure than ever and most of the pressure comes from outside – social media, newspapers, AFL.com bashing them over the head.

“I think they cop enough from that so the coach often doesn’t have to do that sort of stuff.

“My job’s to show them what they can do and how to achieve it – and yes, we show them what they did poorly individually, but we don’t sit around in circles and bash each other to death.”

Leppitsch is hopeful they will be competitive against Hawthorn, who will be keen to rebound after last week’s defeat to Sydney.

It all depends which Brisbane shows up – the one that nearly provided the upset of the season at home against the Swans in round six, or the one that was embarrassed by Collingwood two weeks later.

“We know our best football’s been pretty good, but it’s the consistency of the output,” Leppitsch said.

“The boys go into this game pretty confident. There’s a good feel amongst the group.

“It’s a challenge, but as we proved against the Swans we can handle these challenges and still perform.

“We just need to take that attitude again.”

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