Lions coach not to blame for slump: Brown
Brisbane Lions skipper Jonathan Brown. Photo: Getty Images
Brisbane captain Jonathan Brown has demanded the Lions stand up and be counted in Sunday's AFL clash against Greater Western Sydney.
The body language from Brown said it all in Brisbane today.
Standing defiantly beside Michael Voss, the Lions' skipper backed his besieged coach and insisted the players turn their season around, starting against the AFL rookies at the Gabba.
Three heavy defeats have placed Voss under the spotlight - and becoming the first AFL club to lose to both expansion outfits would only intensify the glare.
Lions' chairman Angus Johnson this week backed Voss after their latest defeat - a 58-point thumping from Collingwood - but claimed a few players had to "have a long, hard look at themselves".
Asked if some players had to lift, Voss said in Brisbane today: "I think we all do."
However, Brown said the finger of blame could only be pointed at the Lions team.
"We are being well coached but the players have got to be able to stand up and get the job done," Brown said.
"It's not Vossy's fault we are consistently being 25 to 30 points down at quarter-time.
"That shows a lack of intensity, a lack of application to the task early in the game.
"We are being passengers instead of hitting it head-on right from the first bounce - that's something only the players have to bring to the table."
The Lions' glory days must seem an eternity ago for three-time premiership captain Voss.
Brisbane have not finished higher than 10th in six of their past seven seasons.
This year, the Lions are 2-5, tasting victory only against the winless Gold Coast and Melbourne.
Voss' horror run of nine wins from the past 47 games is not just hurting them on the AFL ladder - the club will reportedly lose between $2 million and $3 million this year.
But Brown said he looked forward to reversing their fortunes against a Giants side still buzzing from last round's historic first win - a 27-point victory over Gold Coast.
"We've got two choices. We can have a mope around and throw the toys out of the cot or we can stand up and try and do something about it," he said.
"It's not going to turn around in a week. But it starts this week."
Voss said lessons learned from 2011's shock loss to debutants Gold Coast would ensure the Lions would not take GWS lightly.
"If we want to have a reminder of what happens when you potentially take a team for granted, then we've got a short memory," Voss said.
"We won't be resting on our laurels, that's for sure.
"They (Giants) have got good bodies and they are prepared to run so, if we are not on our guard, we will be left for dead."