Ailing Dockers to reassess AFL tactics

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is confident he can dig his side out of its early-season rut, but admits he might need to throw their new centre-square tactics out the window.

The Dockers are struggling at 0-2 after following up their 65-point loss to the Western Bulldogs with a shock 26-point defeat to Gold Coast in Perth on Saturday.

Fremantle’s decision to implement a more attacking centre-square set-up has backfired badly in the opening two rounds.

The Suns were able to kick six goals from centre-square stoppages – a stat that clearly alarmed Lyon.

“It hurt us early last week and its clearly hurt us again,” Lyon said.

“We’ve chosen to go a certain way out of the middle – structure up that has certainly left our backline exposed and not coping, and our mids not coping.

“So we certainly have to look at that.

“It’s a bit of a rude awakening.”

The Dockers face tough matches against West Coast and North Melbourne in the next two weeks, putting them in danger of slipping to 0-4 less than a year after winning the minor premiership.

But Lyon isn’t panicking just yet.

“It’s not my job to execute people. That’s not what I’m about,” Lyon said.

“I’m about possibility, creating opportunity.

“We’re 0-2. I’ve been in bigger holes than this. We’ll work through.

“We won’t be intimidated into to what other people think. That’s not the way we roll.”

The Suns are riding high after posting impressive wins over Essendon and Fremantle.

And with games against strugglers Carlton and Brisbane to come in the next fortnight, Gold Coast have an excellent chance to improve their record to 4-0.

But coach Rodney Eade isn’t getting carried away just yet, especially after watching his side become decimated by injuries last year.

“We have to be mindful now that we don’t get comfortable,” Eade said.

“We can’t just think we can turn up and it’s going to happen.

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