Lachie Neale
Lachie Neale

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says his team will relish the challenge of playing top-four contenders West Coast in the Western Derby on Saturday.

The Dockers have won their past four matches, beating Port Adelaide, GWS, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

Lyon said he was happy with his team's run of good form, but acknowledged the Eagles are likely to provide a far sterner challenge.

"We've beaten everyone below us and around us really, made a pretty good fist of that and earlier in the year we were able to knock off Geelong and St Kilda," he said.

"Clearly the Eagles are up near the top of the ladder.

"To earn the right to play finals, you've got to beat some good teams and that's the challenge that lays in front of us. We're really keen to test ourselves.

West Coast will go in without suspended skipper Darren Glass, while Daniel Kerr and Dean Cox are both under injury clouds.

But Lyon refused to underestimate the under-strength Eagles team.

"It's been hard to track them, they've had significant injuries and handled them well, so I think you know who their key forwards are, you know Jack Darling's kicked five, you know Quentin Lynch, you know Cox goes there but I think if you focus on one, the others can hang you," he said.

"It's about respecting their system and how they play in totality and planning for that ... the power of the whole team you're coming up against not one or two individuals."

West Coast coach John Worsfold gave little away when quizzed on the potential availability of Cox and Kerr.

"It's one of those things. We assume they're in until they're ruled out," he said.

"It will depend on today. We won't name them if they're not really a chance to play. It's unlikely that we would do that."

West Coast defeated the Dockers by 48 points in the previous derby meeting in Round 9, but both coaches said that was unlikely to influence the result this time around.

"I read a quote, Chis Scott's old coach Leigh Matthews used to say 'four weeks is ancient history in AFL', so I tend to concur," Lyon said.

"Lots of personnel changes on both sides. I think we've got eight different. We learned a lot of lessons and we've improved our football. It's going to be a really good test for us.

"We understand they are around the top of the ladder for a reason, that they're elite performers, so we're going to have to step up and play more consistent.

"Three quarters isn't going to get it done it's going to have to be a four-quarter effort."


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