Fremantle coach Ross Lyon wants his top of the ladder AFL team to find a way to better capitalise on their dominance up the field against Collingwood.
Fremantle are coming off the bye and remain on top of the ladder having lost just once in their opening 11 matches, but their early season dominance waned in tight road victories over Adelaide and Gold Coast either side of their loss to Richmond.
Against the Suns, Fremantle looked in danger of suffering the upset of the season on the Gold Coast due to not making the most of their forward 50 entries and shots on goal, until Fyfe went forward and kicked two crucial goals.
The 23-year-old is the reigning AFL Player’s Association MVP and raging Brownlow Medal favourite, but Lyon would find it insulting if anyone suggested they relied too much on him.
“The best teams rely on their best players, it’s pretty obvious but our trademark is that we spread the load. I think that’d be accurate. I don’t see Nat everywhere,” Lyon said.
“We are a weight of numbers team and we would find that (idea of reliance on Fyfe) offensive.
“I love that Nathan runs down and is playing for us, and we acknowledge that he’s an elite player of the competition, but if we are dependant solely on Nathan we might as well pack up and go home.”
Fremantle take on Collingwood in a Thursday night blockbuster at Domain Stadium and Lyon’s focus is on making sure his whole team helps contribute more to the scoreboard, and isn’t especially looking for more from key targets Matthew Pavlich and Matt Taberner.
“Our energy was fantastic on the Gold Coast. We dominated the game. We had 53 entries to 23, we had more than double the amount of scoring shots but we didn’t convert in really difficult conditions and our connection to our forwards wasn’t at the level required,” Lyon said.
“We are putting a lot of work into our front half with their blocking and leading, and it’s been the area that’s been down.
“They’ve been getting opportunities but the connection between the midfielders and forwards hasn’t been at the high level that we demand and require.”