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Leppitsch: We have to be realistic

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  May 27, 2016 3:04 PM

Leppa on Hawthorn Leppa talks to the media ahead of the Round 10 game against the Hawks.

Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch has pleaded for patience with his young team.

Leppitsch says players are under more pressure than ever, and he's taken a softly-softly approach over recent weeks despite five straight losses.

The Lions have lost their past three matches by in excess of 10 goals to teams outside the top-eight – Port Adelaide, Collingwood and Melbourne – and face Hawthorn at the Gabba on Saturday.

But despite the indifferent form, Leppitsch says he is still looking to the long-term, and says the media and public should be too.

"I think we're a very impatient industry to be honest," Leppitsch said.

"Often we want to build the Taj Mahal in six months, it's the way we work and operate and we have to comment week by week on something that's going to take a while to build.

"We have to be realistic.

"We have to set tasks for people that are achievable and what timeframe they're achievable for.

"If we think it'll take a few years, what's the point of oversupplying the pressure on players to do it in a few weeks?

"Adding too much pressure tends to make people freeze.

"There's some individuals that have been in the game a long time that you expect more of, there's some that haven't been in the game that long that you understand it takes a bit longer."

Leppitsch said people often mistook poor effort for disappointment.

He said young players would dwell on a mistake that would carry over to the next passage of play and look like poor effort.

Despite winning just one game of nine this year, and 12 of 53 in his Lions tenure, the coach was looking further down the road.

"Sometimes those greatest lessons are learnt over time," he said. "They're not just ones you can throw in overnight.

"It's a pretty complex game the one we play so there's a lot to get right for a long period of time and we're still building that consistency.

"It doesn't stop our attitude to want to win every week and that's really important. That's what we want to show our fans."

The challenge doesn't come any bigger than taking on the reigning three-time premier, but Leppitsch says there's "a good feeling amongst the group".

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