Tag Archives: finch

Everton"s 8.6m Leroy Fer deal in jeopardy

Everton's 8.6m Fer deal in jeopardy after medical reveals knee injury problems

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

22:27 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 29 January 2013

Everton's bid to sign Leroy Fer has been plunged into doubt after a problem emerged following the midfielder's medical.

The Holland international had been on the brink of becoming David Moyes' first January signing after he flew in from Rotterdam on Monday night but significant doubts emerged yesterday following stringent tests at the club's Finch Farm training base.

It prompted Everton to enter into further negotiations with FC Twente over the structure of the 8.6million deal, given that Fer had serious knee injury last year, but the Dutch club are unhappy with what has been offered

On the rocks: Fer had flown in to complete his deal, which has hit a snag

On the rocks: Fer had flown in to complete his deal, which has hit a snag

Chairman Joop Munsterman said:
'Everton have demanded additional conditions for the transfer of Leroy.
They want to pay in separate instalments. We can't agree with that. We
need to buy a replacement.'

Everton remained tight-lipped over the
problem but there is no question that David Moyes is still eager to
bring the highly-rated Fer to Goodison Park, if negotiations can be
completed to their satisfaction.

Fer, who had travelled to Merseyside
with his girlfriend Xenia and agent, Rob Jansen, had been shown around
Finch Farm yesterday and had made a positive impression on all those
with whom he had dealings. He had also agreed a four-and-a-half year
contract.

So highly thought of is the
23-year-old in Holland that he is expected to star his country's next
friendly in midfield ahead of Wesley Sneijder and Rafa van der Vaart, as
Louis van Gaal picks a squad for the 2014 World Cup.

Moyes was reticent to talk about Fer
at his press conference yesterday afternoon but the most telling thing
he said was describing suggestions the 23-year-old was being brought in
to replace Marouane Fellaini as 'a load of tosh'.

Fellaini's future has been a source of great speculation but Moyes has no intentions of selling the influential Belgian.

Moyes, whose side face West Brom at
Goodison Park tonight, said: ‘I read something like that (about Fellaini
being sold) and that is the biggest load of tosh i have heard.

Down and out Fer's move could be off

Down and out Fer's move could be off

'That is nonsense whoever wrote or
said it. They are different types of players. No, that is not the reason
for bringing (Fer) in, that is for sure.’

Everton’s squad has been hit by
injuries to key figures in recent weeks and, aware that sustaining any
more would prove detrimental to what has been an encouraging season,
Moyes admitted freshening his group up during the window was vital.

Explaining why he moved for Fer, Moyes
said: 'I felt that we are in a really strong position and could we try
and strengthen that position and stay there if we can.

'I would hate to look back and think i
hadn't given that a go or made any attempt to do that. The squad needs
help. I think the squad has done brilliant to get where it has got but
it could do with one or two additions.'

David Moyes hopes Leon Osman wins first England cap

Moyes calls on Hodgson to make Ossie's England dream come true

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UPDATED:

01:36 GMT, 10 November 2012

David Moyes has urged Roy Hodgson to complete Leon Osman’s fairytale call up to the England squad by giving him his first cap against Sweden.

Osman’s inclusion in the party that travels to Stockholm next week was greeted with surprise in some quarters but Moyes says there has not been a more deserving footballer to receive the ultimate recognition.

The 31-year-old has been an influential figure for Everton this season and Moyes, whose side face Sunderland at Goodison Park, said: ‘The competition to play in central midfield and other midfield positions for England has been difficult. I hope he gets a chance to get a cap.

Dreamland: Leon Osman is in line to make his England debut against Sweden

Dreamland: Leon Osman is in line to make his England debut against Sweden

'It will be recognition for someone who has been a really good professional, worked hard at his game and been a regular for Everton for 10 years. He is someone who might not get many caps. That’s why I hope he gets this one.

'Ossie will help make England play. He will try to make passes and get people on the ball and maybe England are looking for players who can do that. A lot depends on how you’re club is doing. If they are doing well then it improves your chances of getting into the international team.’

Moyes was thrilled to be able to tell his squad that Osman had been called up on Thursday afternoon and there was genuine delight on the training fields at the club’s Finch Farm headquarters when the manager made his announcement.

Chance to shine: Osman has had to wait for his England chance but it has come at the age of 31

Chance to shine: Osman has had to wait for his England chance but it has come at the age of 31

Predictably, though, Osman – who is regarded as the joker in Everton’s dressing room – has subsequently had to endure his fair share of ribbing from the rest of the squad, with many telling him “he’s already changed”.

On a serious note, however, Moyes believes Roy Hodgson’s decision to take a belated look at a player whose professional career almost never got off the ground because of a serious cruciate ligament injury vindicates all his hard work.

'I’ve been asked many times in the past about Ossie and England and I’ve always said that I thought he was just going to miss out,' said Moyes. ’I hope he gets a chance to get a cap. It will be recognition for someone who has been a really good professional and worked hard at his game.

True blue: Osman has been a key man in Everton's midfield for a number of years

True blue: Osman has been a key man in Everton's midfield for a number of years

'He has been a regular for Everton for 10 years. He is someone who might not get many caps. That’s why I hope he gets one. There hasn’t been a more deserving player to win a cap, in my view. He was embarrassed on when we told him he had been called up and you can imagine the ribbing he got.

'Behind that embarrassment though you can see he is extremely proud and his family are no doubt delighted. I hope it will kick him on again. He played great for us last week (at Fulham). I hope he gets a chance to somehow earn a cap.'

Moyes, who also has Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka in Hodgson's squad, is now considering flying to Stockholm for the game.

'I went to see Wayne (Rooney’s) first (full) game (for England) up at Sunderland,' said Moyes. 'Will I go to see Ossie’s first I might do. But we at Everton would all feel good to see Ossie play.'

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 13 October 2012

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger shot his
second successive 65 and leads the Portugal Masters by one with a round
to play in Vilamoura.

England's Ross Fisher had been three
clear at halfway, but could not keep the 27-year-old from Vienna at bay
as he continued his search for a third victory of the season.

Even when Fisher, without a win since
his Ryder Cup debut two years ago, had four birdies in five holes
around the turn Wiesberger matched them all to stay one behind.

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

He then drew level with an 18-foot putt on the 14th – his sixth birdie in seven holes – and moved in front for the first time when Fisher could not get up and down after missing the final green.

Wiesberger, who stands 13 under par, said: 'After seven holes (all pars) I was not thinking about a 65, but then I played beautifully.

'It could have been a bit lower, but I'm very happy with that.'

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

Fisher, playing on with a strained ligament in his left foot suffered when he slipped coming off the first tee in his second round, said after his 69: 'It's challenging, but it was a lot easier than yesterday.

'It was heavily bandaged and I tried to take the weight off it as much as I could. It's quite bruised, but the swelling is not as bad as I told it might be.

'I'm disappointed to drop a shot on the last. I tried to keep my neck out in front, but there's still a lot of golf to play.'

Joint third on nine under are Irishman Shane Lowry, England's Richard Finch and, in a sudden return to form, New Zealander Michael Campbell.

The 2006 US Open champion has had a wretched time since that memorable week at Pinehurst and is down at 607th in the world.

Campbell has not had a top-10 finish on the European Tour since 2008 and two seasons ago made only one cut in 19 starts.

'It's seven years since my last win and I was surprised I was calm out there, but I've won enough around the world to know what to do and I'm pretty excited about tomorrow,' he said.

'The last three or four years I've put too much pressure on myself to perform. I've gone back to basics and it's fun once again.'

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

He and playing partner Lowry were both five under for the day before bogeying the last for 67s, while Finch – like Lowry a former Irish Open winner – did not drop a shot in his 66.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 48 trying to become the oldest winner in Tour history, finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a 68 and is joint sixth with England's Mark Foster.

Padraig Harrington also birdied the difficult last, but that was for a 71 as he slipped from fourth to 12th.

Wigan 12 Leeds 13: Kevin Sinfield sends Leeds to Grand Final

Wigan 12 Leeds 13: Sinfield's late strike sends Leeds to Grand Final after thriller

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UPDATED:

21:19 GMT, 28 September 2012

Kevin Sinfield booted the match-winning penalty three minutes from time as Leeds clinched victory in one of Super League's most remarkable play-off thrillers.

Wigan trailed 11-0 at half-time and looked well beaten as the ruthless Rhinos threatened to disappear out of sight.

But the hosts rallied after the break through Harrison Hansen’s try before Pat Richards crossed in the corner and landed a brilliant touchline conversion to put the Warriors 12-11 up.

We're going to Old Trafford: Leeds Rhinos' players celebrate their victory in the qualifying semi-final

We're going to Old Trafford: Leeds Rhinos' players celebrate their victory in the qualifying semi-final

Getting a grip: Wigan's Epalahame Lauaki holds off Leeds' Ryan Bailey at the DW Stadium

Getting a grip: Wigan's Epalahame Lauaki holds off Leeds' Ryan Bailey at the DW Stadium

However, Sinfield was on hand to book another Rhinos Grand Final appearance when Rob Burrow caught Wigan offside in a stunning finish.

Wigan were rocked before kick-off when Sam Tomkins withdrew through injury, but few expected them to lack so much direction during a first half in which they offered virtually nothing in attack.

Ouch: Brett Delaney is tackled by Wigan's Liam Farrell (left), Sean O'Loughlin and Jeff Lima (ground)

Ouch: Brett Delaney is tackled by Wigan's Liam Farrell (left), Sean O'Loughlin and Jeff Lima (ground)

Play-off masters Leeds clicked into gear to produce their most dominant 40 minutes of the season just when they needed it most, suffocating Wigan’s few moments of hope with a line-speed in defence that kept the hosts frustrated.

And just as Wigan appeared to be getting on top, Leeds landed the sucker punch. Leeds prop Jamie Peacock was penalised for interference but it was the visitors who struck from the resulting Wigan attack through Kallum Watkins’ 90-metre interception of Brett Finch’s pass.

No holds barred: Leeds' Kylie Leuluai is held by the Wigan Warriors' defence

No holds barred: Leeds' Kylie Leuluai is held by the Wigan Warriors' defence

Round of applause: Leeds fans celebrate their victory and reaching the Grand Final

Round of applause: Leeds fans celebrate their team's victory and reaching the Grand Final

Sinfield converted easily and knocked over two more goals in quick succession when referee Richard Silverwood ruled indiscretions against Hansen and Finch.

The hosts finally came to life when Thomas Leuluai fed Hansen two minutes after the restart, raising hopes of a comeback — which they came desperately close to completing.

Super League Dream Team announced

Wigan and Warrington players dominate Super League Dream Team

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UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 10 September 2012

Table-toppers Wigan and Challenge Cup winners Warrington provide all but four players between them in the 2012 Stobart Super League Dream Team, which was announced at Old Trafford on Monday.

Warrington prop Chris Hill, who was playing in the Championship with part-timers Leigh 12 months ago, has capped a remarkable debut season by becoming one of six newcomers to the prestigious mythical team chosen by a panel of journalists.

Dream Team members: Wigan's George Carmont, Josh Charnley, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin, Brett Finch and Sam Tomkins

Dream Team members: Wigan's George Carmont, Josh Charnley, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin, Brett Finch and Sam Tomkins

DREAM TEAM

S Tomkins (Wigan), J Charnley
(Wigan), G Carmont (Wigan), R Atkins (Warrington); R Hall (Leeds), B
Finch (Wigan), S Dureau (Catalan); C Hill (Warrington), J Roby (St
Helens), R Casty (Catalan), B Westwood (Warrington), G Hock (Wigan), S
O'Loughlin (Wigan).

The Wigan trio of Josh Charnley, who finished on top of the Super League tryscoring list with 31 touchdowns, stand-off Brett Finch and Gareth Hock make the line-up for the first time, along with Warrington centre Ryan Atkins.

The other newcomer is Catalan captain and prop Remi Casty, who becomes the first Frenchman to make the team since it was introduced in 1996.

Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins is one of four players making their third consecutive appearances, alongside his club captain Sean O'Loughlin, St Helens hooker James Roby and Warrington back-row forward Ben Westwood.

Everton look at M"Baye Niang

Next! Now Niang is off to Everton as Arsenal, Spurs and City stall on 7m offer

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UPDATED:

08:20 GMT, 14 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Everton have become the latest Premier League club to invite promising Caen striker M'Baye Niang on trial.

The 17-year-old will spend a few days at the club's Finch Farm training base while David Moyes ponders a bid.

Arsenal have already had an offer of 5million rejected by the relegated French side, while AC Milan were confident earlier this week of securing a loan deal for the season.

Passed around: Caen's forward M'Baye Niang (right) is on everybody's radar

Passed around: Caen's forward M'Baye Niang (right) is on everybody's radar

Tottenham and Manchester City are yet to act on their initial interest.

Caen are holding out for 7m for the powerful Niang who despite his tender years is already an Under 21 international.

Club president Jean-Francois Fortin confirmed earlier this month that two clubs in England had made Niang offers.

He said at the time: 'Arsenal made me a propostition. Other clubs are interested: two in England and one in Italy. I think there will be an issue here for a fortnight.'

Everton must strengthen their forward line with Nikica Jelavic the only regularly fit out and out striker.

Warrington 30 Wigan 10: Title race goes to wire after Lee Briers inspires Wolves

Warrington 30 Wigan 10: Title race goes to wire after Briers inspires Wolves

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UPDATED:

18:08 GMT, 11 August 2012

The race for the Super League leaders' shield will go down to the
wire after Warrington closed the gap on Wigan to a single point with an
emphatic win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The in-form Wolves dominated from start to finish against strangely
out-of-sorts opponents as they completed the Super League double over
Wigan for the second successive season.

Going over: Warrington Wolves' Ben Westwood scores his sides' first try

Going over: Warrington Wolves' Ben Westwood scores his sides' first try

The Warriors will still lift the league leaders' shield currently residing at the Halliwell Jones Stadium if they win their last three games of the regular season but Warrington are ready to seize on any further slip.

The Wolves are already favourites to win the Challenge Cup – they take on Leeds in a fortnight – and Saturday's impressive triumph will give them a psychological advantage if these two rivals meet in the Grand Final.

They tackled danger man Sam Tomkins out of the game and easily nullified the threat of Brett Finch, who was returning to the Wigan side after passing a late fitness test on his hamstring injury but looked anything but fit.

Warrington's rampaging forwards, superbly led by Ben Westwood and Chris Hill, laid the platform for a blistering start which brought them two tries in the first seven minutes.

Wolves' evergreen stand-off Lee Briers marked his 400th appearance by setting up the game's first try.

The former skipper, who this week signed a new contract for 2013, seized on the first of a series of handling errors by the visitors and was only denied a try by a superb last-ditch tackle by Wigan centre George Carmont.

However, the Warriors' defence were not able to regroup in time to prevent Westwood crossing wide out for the game's first try.

The leaders had not recovered from that shock when Hill bumped off Lee Mossop's attempted tackle to get loose forward Ben Harrison over for a second try and Brett Hodgson's second goal made it 12-0.

Wingmen Joel Monaghan and Chris Riley went close to adding to the scores as Warrington dominated proceedings but Wigan pulled a try back nine minutes before half-time when second-rower Gareth Hock forced his way over from a tap penalty five metres out.

Josh Charnley's goal cut Warrington's lead to six points but it was back up to 10 by half-time when Monaghan took Hodgson's clearly forward pass to grab a third try in fortuitous fashion.

The Wolves left to a standing ovation at half-time and the home crowd had plenty more to cheer in the second half.

Hodgson extended his side's lead with a penalty and converted an 80-metre try from centre Stefan Ratchford, who collected a wayward kick from Wigan scrum-half Matty Smith and showed a clean pair of heels to his pursuers.

Warrington's errors were few and far between but, when Briers failed to find touch with a penalty, Wigan took advantage to create an overlap, with Carmont sending Iain Thornley over for a try.

But it did little to upset the general pattern of the game and Warrington duly extended their lead when scrum-half Richie Myler took Michael Monagan's pass to cross for a fifth try and Hodgson kicked his fifth goal.

London 2012 Olympics basketball: Team Gb 90 China 50 as Luol Deng and co sign off

Team GB 90 China 50: Deng and co sign off in style with first win at Games since 1948

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UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 6 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Great Britain recorded their first Olympic victory in basketball since 1948 as they routed China in their final Group B game in London.

In what coach Chris Finch said would be his last game in charge, he got one over his old BBL rival and current China coach Bob Donewald with a comfortable win.

Kieron Achara had an outstanding game for Britain with 16 points, making the most of extended playing time as Luol Deng slipped into early foul trouble and Pops Mensah-Bonsu sat with an injury.

Signing off: Luol Deng joins his British team-mates to celebrate their first win at the Games

Signing off: Luol Deng joins his British team-mates to celebrate their first win at the Games

Britain, needing to shake off the feel of Saturday night's dismal collapse against Australia, fell into an early 7-0 hole when Wang Shipeng hit a three for China.

But from there, they dominated. Nate Reinking, who along with Robert Archibald was playing his last game for Britain, tied it up 10-10 with a three-pointer and Britain had the edge on the first of Achara's threes to make it 13-12.

Achara moved into double figures late in the first quarter with a pair of free throws before Dan Clark's jumper gave them a 27-15 edge.

Reinking's three made it 32-15 before China reeled off seven straight points, but Britain soon reestablished their lead with Achara's three making it 39-24.

Hang time: Deng drives for a shot attempt against Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi

Hang time: Deng drives for a shot attempt against Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi

Hands on: Eric Boateng (L) is guarded by China's Zhaoxu Zhang

Hands on: Eric Boateng (L) is guarded by China's Zhaoxu Zhang

Yet another three from Andrew Lawrence gave Britain a 46-31 lead at half-time.

China scored quick points through Zhou Peng and Yi Jianlian to start the second half, but Drew Sullivan's three midway through the third kept Britain's lead comfortable at 57-42.

Deng, who had for extended periods due to foul trouble, got his first points of the game with 5:13 left in the third period.

Reinking's three pushed the lead to 20, 65-45, late in the third and not long after Kyle Johnson swished a shot from the corner to make it 70-45.

Up in the air: Robert Archibald hangs from the basket after scoring with a slam dunk

Up in the air: Robert Archibald hangs from the basket after scoring with a slam dunk

Over and out: The thumping win over China was Britain;s last outing at the Olympics

Over and out: The thumping win over China was Britain;s last outing at the Olympics

Both Reinking and Sullivan – the two remaining players who have been with the modern British Basketball programme from the very start – had strong showings with Reinking scoring 12 and Sullivan 11.

Joel Freeland reached 10 despite also battling foul trouble, and Eric Boateng also had 10. Archibald had eight in his final game.
Wang led China with 11 and Yi had 10.

The atmosphere was oddly subdued in the fourth quarter, with the game a blowout and the significance of the result in British Basketball history likely lost on large portions of the crowd.

Britain's only other Olympic win in history came the last time London hosted the Games as they beat Ireland 46-21.

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: Luol Deng can inspire Britain to glory, says coach

Deng good enough to inspire my team to glory, says Britain's basketball coach Finch

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UPDATED:

07:25 GMT, 26 July 2012

Luol Deng can be the man to drive Great Britain to success at the London Olympics, according to coach Chris Finch.

Chicago Bulls star Deng is the face of the British team, not only as the stand-out player on court but also as a model of commitment to the team.

While Finch would be the first to say there is plenty more to his squad than Deng alone, he also recognises the huge contribution the 27-year-old NBA All-Star can make.

Luol Deng

Luol Deng

Main man: Luol Deng with the ball against USA in Manchester last week

'Everything hangs together through him and his ability to do lots of good things,' Finch said. 'He has the ability to make his team-mates better by passing the ball, and reacting to what they're doing.

'When your best player is one of your best people and best workers, you have a chance to be really good and that's what we have.'

But Finch also knows Deng's contribution to the British team – which was only formed in 2006 with the goal of playing in these Games – goes beyond what shows up on court.

'His impact on the programme is not to be understated,' the coach added.

'He's made a huge commitment, like a lot of our guys. He's played every summer except when he's had injury, and even before the programme was up and running he was actively recruiting players to the cause.

Inspiration: Luol Deng clashes with Carmelo Anthony during Britain's warm-up match against USA in Manchester last week

Inspiration: Luol Deng clashes with Carmelo Anthony during Britain's warm-up match against USA in Manchester last week

'He's been a great ambassador for the sport of basketball and for all sports in the United Kingdom, playing at the highest level and this year having a breakthrough season to make the All-Star Game.'

Another major asset Deng brings to the team is his ability to play in a number of different positions, something that could be needed if injuries take a bite out of Finch's squad late in their preparations.

Guard Mike Lenzly has a torn calf muscle and Dan Clark a bad ankle sprain, with Finch saying both players are '50/50 at best' to be fit for the Games, with tomorrow the deadline to call in replacements.

Finch will wait until the final moments to make a call as he wants to give both players every chance to recover, but he is confident his squad can adapt if the worst happens.

'We've still got great experience, and having a player like Luol allows you to have great flexibility in your line-up because he can play both forward spots or even at point guard if you needed him to,' Finch said.

'Pops [Mensah-Bonsu] can play a couple of different positions too so we have some versatility to cover for that.'

London 2012 Olympics: Basketball team upbeat over injuries

Waiting game for basketball squad as injured Lenzly and Clark face race against time

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UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 25 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Great Britain coach Chris Finch remains upbeat about his team's preparations for the Olympics even as late injuries threaten to disrupt the squad.

Guard Mike Lenzly and forward Dan Clark are '50/50 at best' to be fit, according to Finch, as they battle calf and ankle injuries respectively.

Finch said he would give the pair every chance to recover, with Friday's 10am technical meeting the deadline to replace either or both on the roster.

Race against time: Dan Clark could miss Great Britain's basketball competition

Race against time: Dan Clark could miss Great Britain's basketball competition

'Both players are committed to their recovery process,' Finch said. 'They are both key players for our team so it is important they are given the best chance to be at 100 per cent. At the moment it's 50/50 at best.'

But Finch said he was feeling good about his team's preparation and insisted they would not be thrown off course if either player was ruled out.

'It's not ideal, but we've been here before in our programme,' he said.

'We've had tough moments with injuries or selection issues or whatever else.

'Our guys are committed to getting healthy but we'll have to make do with what we have.

'We're in the tougher group, it won't be easy but it's nothing we can control so we don't worry about it.

Doubt: Mike Lenzly (right) hopes to be fit fr the start of the Olympics

Doubt: Mike Lenzly (right) hopes to be fit fr the start of the Olympics

'You learn as a coach there are lots of things you can't get hung up on and this is one of them.'

Britain kept Ogo Adegboye, the final cut from Finch's squad, with the team during their preparations and he would be ready to step in as a replacement if needed.

If both Lenzly and Clark were ruled out Finch would need to turn to his original squad longlist, with young guard Devon van Oostrum, who starred for the under-20s earlier this month after being cut from the Olympic group, among those Finch said would come under consideration.

Britain begin their campaign on Sunday against Russia, who came through last month's qualifying tournament, and they will also face Spain, China, Australia and Brazil in Group B.

'When the draw was originally made, I really liked our group and thought we had the more favourable group,' Finch said.

Plenty to ponder: Chris Finch will make a late decision on his basketball squad

Plenty to ponder: Chris Finch will make a late decision on his basketball squad

'But then when the rosters were filled out, we saw Brazil had added four NBA players to last year's group, which is a nice thing for them to do.

'Then we got Russia as a qualifier and they will be one of the class teams in the tournament, so the group is stronger and that will make life difficult for us.'

However, Finch's expectations for his team have not changed.

'I'm not in the business of making predictions because then you get into trouble,' he said. 'We need to approach every game with the same amount of intensity, preparation and execution and take our chances whenever we get them.

'We're confident we can go out there and compete, play well and give ourselves a chance to win.

'Where we're sitting, with the injuries we have and the group we're in, it would be a little boastful to say we're going to go through [to the quarter-finals], but we have every chance to do that if we play well.'