Numbers stacked against Dockers in AFL

It’s only round five, but Fremantle need to start crunching the numbers if they’re to keep their finals dream alive – starting with Sunday’s clash with Carlton at Domain Stadium.

The Dockers’ hopes of winning this year’s premiership already appear over after opening their season with four straight losses.

No team in the AFL era has recovered from such a poor start to reach the finals.

And making Fremantle’s task even harder is their percentage of 65.8 – the third worst in the league.

The Dockers need to make up 155 points on the scoreboard just to break even again on the percentage front.

But an even bigger challenge confronting Fremantle is making up the three-win gap between themselves and eighth spot.

The Dockers will start as hot favourites against Carlton, who are also winless and sit on the bottom of the table.

But given Fremantle’s percentage woes, they’ll need a hefty win if they are to revive their finals hopes.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon admits his team’s poor skill errors and inability to handle the new game plan has hurt.

But he’s confident things are turning around after seeing competitive displays in recent losses to West Coast and North Melbourne.

However, Lyon was rather testy when asked whether finals football was still the goal for his side.

“All I know is there’s only one way to win AFL games, and when you’re 0-4, you need to improve your football,” Lyon said.

“You can ask me the same question every week and I’ll answer it the same way.

“My job is to improve our football enough to win AFL games. At the moment we’re not winning them, so we’ve got plenty of things to work on and improve.

“And that’s enough on my plate to sort of swallow at the minute.”

Fremantle welcome back ruckman Zac Clarke from a knee injury, while Darcy Tucker has been named for his debut.

Brady Grey is the other inclusion, with the Dockers axing Garrick Ibbotson, Ed Langdon, and Nick Suban.

Carlton made just one change, dropping Nick Graham for Liam Jones.

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