Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says Sunday’s AFL loss to Carlton is one of his most disappointing ever as a senior coach.
The Dockers’ fifth-straight loss was compounded by another serious leg injury to Nat Fyfe, which could put him on the sidelines for an extended period.
Fremantle are officially in freefall their shock four-point loss to Carlton in Perth, leaving them without a win this season.
The 10.12 (72) to 9.14 (68) result was marred by inexplicable turnovers and poor decisions for the Dockers.
Lyon admits he’s as shocked as anyone about how fast his team have fallen, from minor premiers one year to wooden spoon contenders the next.
And it could get even uglier, with Adelaide, GWS and Hawthorn on the fixture list in the next three weeks.
Lyon says he’s been left with no choice but to go back to the drawing board, conceding his players have failed to implement the game plan properly.
“We played straight line kamikaze footy and turned it over in terrible spots. We thought we were better than this,” he said.
“The brand we wanted to build, we haven’t built. We’ve built something totally different. So it’s back to the drawing board clearly.”
Fyfe will undergo scans on his left leg after injuring it during the second quarter.
It’s the same leg he broke in last year’s preliminary final, and Lyon fears there could be damage around the area where the plate was inserted.
Defender Michael Johnson (knee) and Hayden Ballantyne (leg) will also need further assessment.
In a match marred by horrendous errors, it was only fitting that a shocking turnover decided the match.
With Carlton leading by just four points, an attempted kick across goal from Lachie Neale while being tackled went horribly wrong.
The ball landed in the lap of Blues forward Liam Jones, who booted the goal from 20m out to put Carlton up by 10 points with just a minute remaining.
Chris Mayne’s goal after the final siren couldn’t temper the Blues’ celebrations, with Brendon Bolton as pleased as punch to secure his first win as Carlton coach.
But he’s not getting carried away given his side are well and truly in rebuilding mode.
“We’re under no illusions – it’s just one little step, one affirmation that we are improving,” Bolton said.
“We still have lots to improve on. We can improve on our stoppages, we can improve on our execution, no doubt about that.”
Recalled Blues forward Liam Jones booted two clutch goals in the final term to help lift the side to victory, while Dale Thomas kicked three goals in an important display.