Lions' season a failure, says Matthews - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions' season a failure, says Matthews

By Drew Cratchley 25/08/2008 05:44:47 PM Comments (0)

Leigh Matthews says 2008 has been a failure for the Brisbane Lions.

Brief with his comments immediately after Saturday's season-ending loss to Carlton, Matthews opened up on his club's fall from grace over the past five weeks to miss out on the finals.

"I feel we're probably one of the teams and I think they're all about the same really between fourth and twelfth, we could have finished anywhere up to fourth," Matthews said.

"We're going to finish tenth or eleventh. So therefore that's a failure.

"We've failed to end up where I think we're capable of doing."

The Lions were sitting sixth on the AFL ladder after round 16, just two points off fourth.

Three consecutive losses from there, followed by a close win over the Western Bulldogs and then Saturday's heartbreaker against the Blues, condemned the Lions to September holidays.

It's a classic case of what could have been for the Queenslanders, with all four of those losses by fewer than eight points.

"We had seven games that have been decided by less than two goals, and we lost three and won four," Matthews said.

"They're the ones you tend to think if you're in front with a few minutes to go, that's where you feel like you should be able to now protect the lead for a few minutes."

The Lions sit tenth on 40 points ahead of Saturday's match against Sydney - exactly where they finished in 2007 - and Matthews believes that is a fair reflection of the year.

"I think we've limboed a bit," Matthews said.

"One of the things that you always do at the end of the season, and players should as well, (is ask) how many players had career best years, or how many players played as well as they have before.

"Over the whole season there would be more that would look back and say `no, I didn't have a great year'.

"Some might say `I had a poor year', some might say `I had an okay year', but there would only be a handful that probably have felt 'yeah, this is my best year that I've had in my footy career'."

But Matthews remains positive about 2009, with his young squad getting better with every game.

"I feel like we've got more upside in our players than we've got logical downsides, so I still think we're on the up," he said.

The Lions began the soul searching, altering their usual routine with an early team meeting before a trip to a Gold Coast beach.

"It was a bit of a `where are we?' session more than anything," Matthews said.

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