Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says his charges are ready for footy war this weekend as they attempt to end their St Kilda hoodoo.
The Dockers have lost 10 of their past 12 matches against St Kilda, including their past two.
Fremantle have struggled to hit top form over the past two months, but they’ll still start as hot favourites against a St Kilda outfit that has been boosted by the return of skipper Nick Riewoldt.
Lyon formed a close bond with Riewoldt during his time as coach of St Kilda, but the pair haven’t touched base in the lead-up to Sunday’s game at Etihad Stadium.
“We go to footy war this week,” Lyon said.
“St Kilda have improved on last year.
“They’ve won six games, and could’ve easily won another three.
“But we’re on top of the ladder for a reason. We’re a great competitive side so we’ll come and compete again.
“That’s what we’re about. That’s what we stand for.”
Fremantle copped a 58-point hammering at the hands of St Kilda last year.
Dockers midfielder David Mundy said he and his teammates are desperate to make amends for that flop, but Lyon doesn’t want them to go overboard with their emotions.
“We don’t like anyone to have the wood on us,” Lyon said.
“But emotion doesn’t get it done. Anger, happiness – whatever – it doesn’t get it done.
“The only thing that gets it done is action and relentless action.
“So we are planning to bring relentless action.”
With just five rounds remaining, Fremantle are in the box seat to secure the minor premiership.
Not that Lyon is counting his chickens just yet.
“There is a quarter of the season to go, it is a significant amount of time,” Lyon said.
“There is no time to breathe out, no time to relax, no time to hypothesise or speculate.
“We just stay in the moment.”
With defender Zac Dawson suspended, Alex Silvagni has been rushed back into the team despite having just two WAFL appearances to his name this year.
Star midfielder Nat Fyfe will again miss because of a groin injury.
Riewoldt was the headline inclusion among six changes for the Saints, with Sam Gilbert, Jack Lonie, Sebastian Ross, Blake Acres, and Nathan Wright also recalled.