Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch says the Lions need more from out-of-sorts midfield star Daniel Rich.
While hampered by a niggling ankle injury, the 25-year-old has been well below his usual output, averaging just 12 disposals in his last five games.
His struggles continued at the weekend in Brisbane’s whopping 72-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, with Rich collecting two first-half touches on his way to a haul of 12 for the match, with only four contested.
“We need more out of him. He knows that, of course,” Leppitsch said.
“He’s not at his best – everyone knows that.
“It’s (up to) us to coach him through it and him to mentally get through that as well.
“But he’s not the only one – there’s a few players down on their output.”
Leppitsch criticised Brisbane’s on-field leaders following the Dogs defeat with Rich one of the main players in his crosshairs.
But Rich’s downturn in form is “half the player, half us” according to Leppitsch, who has vowed to settle the Western Australian product in one position after weeks of flinging him around the ground to cover for the club’s crippling injury crisis.
“What’s happened with Daniel is he started at half-back, we lost Rocky (captain Tom Rockliff), we then put him through the midfield and a bit of half-forward,” Leppitsch said.
“We need to help him with continuity of position.
“But also (he needs to) give everything he’s got as far as effort-wise.
“With Daniel, it’s a bit at the moment – particularly through the midfield – trying to last out four quarters, as opposed to give every contest his all.
“Sometimes when you do that, you don’t really impact any contests because you’re not quite at any.”
The Lions, who had the bye last weekend, face Adelaide at the Gabba on Saturday afternoon.