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Ross Lyon: Fremantle will get 'nowhere' with this type of footy

If not for the outstanding efforts of Nathan Fyfe, it's doubtful Fremantle would have beaten Carlton.

If not for the outstanding efforts of Nathan Fyfe, it's doubtful Fremantle would have beaten Carlton. Photo: Paul Kane

Coach Ross Lyon is clearly unimpressed with the standard of football Fremantle has produced in the past two rounds, saying that type of play would take the Dockers "nowhere".

Lyon says that his side clearly needs to improve if it wants to be a contender for the premiership in 2014.

The Dockers fell over the line by five points against Carlton at Patersons Stadium on Thursday night, after losing to bottom side St Kilda by 58 points two weeks before.

Rin Norris and Anthony Maslin - the parents of Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin - took part in an emotional tribute to WA's MH17 victims before the Dockers' clash with Carlton, releasing purple balloons into the sky. Click for more photos

Dockers hold pre-game tribute to Maslin family

The Fremantle Dockers paid tribute to WA's MH17 victims and the Maslin family before Thursday night's narrow win over Carlton. (Getty Images; Photos: Paul Kane) 

They face Geelong at Simonds Stadium next round - albeit nine days after their win over Carlton - and then Hawthorn (home), Brisbane (Gabba) and Port Adelaide (home) to finish the home-and-away fixtures.

“Clearly we've got plenty of work to do. We need to improve. That footy is going to take us nowhere,” Lyon said after the narrow victory over Carlton.

“In the end, we did a lot right to get across the line, so we'll focus on that and then review the early stuff. 

“Our model is to identify and train it, so clearly the last two weeks haven't been great footy, pre or post the break. We've got some work to do.”

Lyon was particularly disappointed with the ease in which Carlton “walked it out of the middle and kicked six goals for the night”.

While Aaron Sandilands dominated the ruck knocks, with 46 hit-outs, including 16 centre square ruck taps, the Blues won the clearances from the middle of the ground 13 to 10.  

“I mean it just shouldn't happen, but it did,” Lyon said. “That's half their score, I think.”

Carlton kicked 11 goals for the night.

Lyon said that as well as work at centre bounces, his side would also be concentrating on their ball movement out of defence and general accountability before they play the Cats.

“We won't be breathing out,” he said.

“We need to improve, we'll train hard. And that was the message to the players after the game - we need to improve, we need to train well, and we need to get back to our very best football.”

Tendai Mzungu will miss the game against Geelong with a hamstring injury, while captain Matthew Pavlich will need to pass a concussion test during the next week before he can be declared as available.

When Fremantle beat the Cats by 15 points at Simonds Stadium in the qualifying final last season, Pavlich was dangerous in attack with 2.3, while Mzungu was a bit quiet, with just 11 disposals.

But Lyon doesn’t believe the result in last season’s final will provide any advantage next Saturday when they face the Cats.

“I think it's irrelevant,” he said.

”Where we're at last year to this year are poles apart. I always say past results don't count for the next one.”

In that game, midfielders Michael Barlow, David Mundy and Nat Fyfe were among the Dockers' best – the same players who got Fremantle over the line against Carlton.

Blues coach Mick Malthouse shut down Stephen Hill with tagger Ed Curnow, but he said it was impossible to shut down all of the Dockers stars.

“I think you can go four or five players that we could have and wanted to sit on, but you can't sit on everyone,” Malthouse said.

“They are a quality side, and when you analyse their best players, they are their best players roughly week in week out, so whether it's Hill, whether it's Fyfe, whether it's Mundy, or whether its Barlow, they have some really great, quality players.”

And Lyon has no issues with relying in his stars to get the side over the line.

Fyfe dominated the final term on Thursday night, with 11 touches and five clearances.

“That's what they're paid to do,” Lyon said.

“You expect your good players and leaders to stand up. And those guys did that. I thought after half-time, HIll, [Danyle]Pearce and [Lachie] Neale doubled or tripled their possessions and lifted.

“I don't think we got the rub of the green in some areas tonight. I don't think much went in our favour in our forward 50 metres, and a bit went in their favour in theirs.

“But that's been happening for a while now, so we sort of get used to it.”

20 comments so far

  • Interesting choice of headline and how some of the media are bagging Freo for a gutsy win and maintaining their spot in the top 4 (the commentary last night was dreadful particularly by Basil Zemplilas). Other Lyon comments from his media conference that would make a nice headline:
    "Some really good effort to dig in".
    "We found a way".
    "In the end, we did a lot right to get across the line".
    "I thought the players showed enormous fight at the end".
    "We need to improve, we need to train well and we need to get back to our very best football".

    Date and time
    August 01, 2014, 11:42AM
    • Or Peter, how about the headline "We played the 6 bottom teams in a row to get where we ended up last season" or one better "we just played the 9 bottom teams in a row to get where we are now"? The AFL gods definitely shine on your mighty Dockers!! You can use the words "gutsy" and "effort" but do you seriously think that they can match it with Hawthorn and Sydney at the pointy end of the season?

      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 12:11PM
    • Moosey how else can the AFL schedule Fremantle to play many of the top teams twice at both if they don't schedule them to play the bottom teams once in the middle of the season? Have a look at Freo's first 6 rounds and then at the last 4. Btw: the headline has been altered without saying so which makes my original comment sound out of context.

      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 12:37PM
    • Actually Peter, having subbed the story, I can assure you the headline hasn't been changed since it was first published this morning.

      Simon White
      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 12:45PM
    • Not sure which AFL competition you have been watching. I am a Fremantle supporter and under no illusions, the headline summed up the situation pretty well. Fremantle has struggled against bottom 4 teams in its last 2 games. I can't see any upside from either performance and both games highlighted deficiencies in the game plan. One week is an aberration, 2 weeks indicate there is a deeper issue which the coaching staff need to address.

      bio logical
      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 2:08PM
    • The headline on the front page of the WA Today website (NOT on the top of the story itself) was different earlier this morning (it was a Lyon quote but not attributed to him). Maybe that's not called a headline but whatever it's called it was different and was what I responded to. I will take a screen shot next time I comment on that particular headline or whatever it's called that appears on the front page as it often doesn't match the tone of the story. Anyway…….

      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 2:17PM
    • Oh come off it Peter....The Dockers were complete crap last night against a mid to lower tier team. They were behind Carlton for most of the game and don't look to be 1/2 the team they were this time last year....Full Stop!!! A lucky chance goal in the dying minute saved them from a media savaging today and was a most unconvincing win......Lucky, lucky goal.

      West Perth
      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 3:00PM
  • Its because we are expected to be better than that. Have no problem with headline. I suspect they have been on a "second preseason" of hard training. No other way to explain how slow nearly every player has been the last 2 games. Hopefully we are ready to explode come September. Only risk is derailing the campaign early!

    Date and time
    August 01, 2014, 12:39PM
    • Fockers had a hard start to the year, have a tough finish.. they had to play the bottom sides at some point.

      Its a long season, no team can maintain its intensity week in week out for 24 or so rounds.. thats why there are upsets ... even Man United drop a game each year so some mob fighting relegation.. its sport, it happens.

      Bit of credit should go to the Blues shouldnt it? Malthouse did his homework and nearly got the result, still a bit of life in the old dog by the looks of it ha ha . ;-)

      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 2:22PM
      • Yep they play Hawthorn, Port and Geelong twice, what more do people want? Sydney twice, North twice, give me a break.

        Date and time
        August 01, 2014, 5:09PM

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