Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has accepted blame for the club’s winless start to the AFL season, but is not giving up on reaching the finals just yet.
The Dockers are in a world of trouble after their 33-point derby loss to West Coast on Saturday left them with a 0-3 record heading into next weekend’s clash with North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
Ruckman Aaron Sandilands is set for an extended period on the sidelines after suffering a punctured lung and suspected rib damage in a marking contest with Nic Naitanui.
And skipper David Mundy is set to miss several more weeks after injuring his calf at training on Friday.
But the biggest concern for Lyon right now is his team’s inability to execute the new attacking game plan implemented during the off-season.
Sloppy skills under pressure have hurt Fremantle significantly this year, with their inability to rebound cleanly from inside their defence proving particularly damaging.
“There’s some player decision making in that and some player responsibility to execute, but as always I start with myself, our coaching panel, and our football program,” Lyon said.
Lyon hasn’t lost faith in his side’s work ethic or commitment to the cause.
But until he sees them execute better under pressure, he won’t be banking on them to get the job done.
Lyon also hinted he would wield the axe in a bid to find more skilful players.
And if things continue to go pear shaped, 2016 could turn into a rebuilding year for the Dockers.
“I think the aim is to win enough games and play finals,” he said.
“I’ll sort the chaff from the wheat. There’s got to be some players that aren’t performing to a high level.”
West Coast coach Adam Simpson was happy with how his side rebounded from their heavy loss to Hawthorn in round two.
But he is well aware their wayward goalkicking almost cost them dearly in the derby, with the Dockers closing to within five points late in the match before West Coast finished with a bang.
“We are still not where we want to be … but to play like that (against the Dockers) … that was really pleasing,” Simpson said.