Lyon: Crows midfield the focus

Sportal August 9, 2012, 9:12 pm
Ross Lyon

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Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has identified stopping Adelaide's midfield group as the top priority for his side on Saturday.

The Crows sit second on the ladder and are ranked No.1 in the competition for clearances and contested possessions.

Lyon said halting Adelaide's flow from the clearances and cutting supply to their forward line would go a long way towards grabbing the four points.

"They're a dominating clearance team, they rank in the top four in the AFL in contested ball," he said.

"From there they like to kick it a lot. They go to their key forwards and they've got a fleet of small players that really damaged us last time.

"The simplicity is good and that's what they bring - contest, clearance and kicking use to their talls with smalls at their feet."

Lyon said Fremantle would pay closer attention to Matthew Wright, Ian Callinan and Jarred Petrenko, who hurt them last time they played the Crows.

He also said he would only tag one of Adelaide's midfield group in Scott Thompson, Bernie Vince, Rory Sloane and Patrick Dangerfield and back his midfielder's to take the game on.

"We always go with someone, so does (Ryan) Crowley go to Thompson like he did last time, Dangerfield, Vince, Sloane's been exceptional. We've got to try and identify one," he said.

"Our midfield, we've been backing everyone in and you just rely on your team defence.

"People get off the chain and they roll over and they cover them when they're in dangerous space."

The Dockers have won their past five matches on the back of their own improved performances at stoppages.

Lyon said the most notable change was effort.

"Our contest and clearance work has improved significantly over the last five weeks and that's been personnel changes, slight structure tweaks, and then bringing great effort," Lyon said.

"We're scoring more from clearances and we're creating good turnovers in the midfield. They're the things that have given opportunities for the forwards."

Alex Silvagni will replace the suspended Luke McPharlin, who was rubbed out for one week after Fremantle failed in their bid to have his forceful front-on contact charge downgraded at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.

Nick Suban has replaced Dylan Roberton in the team, while Lachie Neale travelled as the emergency.

A win would see Fremantle move into the top eight with seventh-placed North Melbourne and eight-placed Essendon to clash on Sunday.

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