Dockers still aiming for finals

Sportal June 2, 2012, 10:58 pm
Ross Lyon

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Fremantle coach Ross Lyon insists the Dockers' season is still alive despite the precarious position they find themselves in after Saturday's 29-point loss to Adelaide.

Lyon's men are one game and sizeable percentage outside the top eight after their second half surge fell short of stunning the Crows, a situation made much worse by a horror upcoming draw.

Fremantle have already lost their past three games and face a brutal stretch that sees them play Richmond (MCG), Essendon (home) and Collingwood (MCG) consecutively.

While failure to score an upset win in that run would leave them 5-8 and all but end their finals hopes, Lyon insisted there was no reason to panic following the 17.9 (111) to 12.10 (82) loss at Patersons Stadium.

"I know the doomsayers will be out there, but at 5-5 the season is well and truly alive," he said.

"Constructing four quarters of what we dished up for maybe two-and-a-half or three quarters will see us win a number of games.

"Anxiety comes from worrying about the future. How do you control that? Stay in the present and control the moment. That's what we aim to do."

In the wake of massive criticism hurled at them after last week's 48-point loss to West Coast, Fremantle opted for a more attacking structure and left their forwards closer to goal.

While that improved their scoring shots, they were belted 53-30 in the clearances despite dominating the hitouts 52-34 and lost the contested possessions count 157-134.

But Lyon said there were still positive aspects to take out of the game, in which they rallied from six goals down to take the lead early in the fourth before being overrun.

"It shows we've got some work to do, but we can really play some pretty good footy," he said.

"We know we've come here and improved.

"You can lose going forward, and I felt really today, the group has got some really valuable lessons.

"They (the players) should walk away knowing they delivered that and they can play some pretty good football."

The Dockers did lift significantly in inside 50s, entering 47 times after managing just 30 against the Eagles a week earlier, but the forward line continued to struggle.

Jack Anthony looks set to return to the WAFL after amassing just four possessions, failing to kick a goal and being substituted out in the third quarter, just like he did in his last game against Carlton in Round 5.

"I always feel for my players who are doing it hard and I take no pleasure in kicking someone when they're down," Lyon said.

Fellow forward Zac Clarke also had just five touches and failed to kick a goal, continuing his uninspiring run of form, but Lyon insisted he would persist with the athletic youngster.

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