McVeigh says Swans midfield need to lift

Unhappy with his own form, Sydney co-captain Jarrad McVeigh has also turned the blowtorch on the Swans’ midfield ahead of their AFL clash with Essendon on Saturday.

The Swans managed to secure a three-point win last round over Brisbane but McVeigh said there was room for improvement at the SCG in the usually prolific engine room.

“Around the contest they (Brisbane) were harder than us and beat us around the ball, which isn’t something we’re used to,” said veteran McVeigh, who has been used in both midfield and half back line this season.

“We will rectify this as the midfield boys have been unbelievable for us this year. I’m sure they will get back to winning the footy this week.”

The 31-year-old McVeigh missed the first three games of the season following knee surgery and he said he was slowly finding his feet.

In three games he has averaged 14 possessions, way off his mark of 24 per match last season.

“I’m probably a bit off; I haven’t been that happy with my performances overall, but I’m just getting back into it,” he said.

“We had some pretty tough games against Adelaide, West Coast and Brisbane but I feel that my body has become accustomed to AFL footy again.

“The touch is something you obviously can’t replicate at training, in terms of the pressure that you receive on game day, but I think it’s slowly getting better.”

Despite Essendon only managing one win with a line-up decimated by doping suspensions, the Swans had done plenty of homework on the new faces in the Bombers’ lineup.

McVeigh said they still had plenty of good players.

“If you look through their midfield they’ve still got (Adam) Cooney, (Matthew) Leuenberger has come in, (Brendon) Goddard, David Zaharakis, so they’ve got a lot of quality names in there and we respect those guys greatly,” he said.

Injured Swans ruckman Callum Sinclair and defender Nick Smith both tested their knees at Thursday’s training session.

Smith was a late withdrawal from the Lions match while Sinclair landed awkwardly late in the Lions match.

McVeigh said he was unsure if the pair would play.

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