Injury-prone GWS forward Jonathon Patton says his confidence is rising but admits he should have kicked more goals this year and needs to improve his marking and work rate.
The former No.1 draft pick, who turns 23 on Friday, has been restricted to 45 AFL appearances in almost four-and-a-half seasons, with two knee reconstructions sidelining him for significant periods.
Patton has kicked 8.7 in seven games this year, but is yet to dominate a game.
He booted 0.3 in his first game back, but bagged two in his past two matches and, last weekend, tallied a season-high 16 disposals.
“My confidence is rising every week; there’s still things that I need to work on,” Patton said on Thursday.
I’ve still got to take more marks. I’ve dropped a couple of easy marks the last couple of weeks, so try and clean that up.
“(And) a lot more work rate, getting up and back and running out the game properly.”
Patton is only the seventh-highest Giants’ goalkicker this season with recruited small forward Steve Johnson leading the way with 19, followed by key forward Jeremy Cameron (16) and ruckman-forward Rory Lobb (15).
“We’ve got so many good players in the forward line at the moment, it’s really good – we’re not relying on anyone too much,” Patton said.
“I probably should have kicked more goals than what I have with some easy shots I’ve missed this year.
“I find myself up the ground a fair bit. I like getting up the ground and sitting behind the ball for two minutes here or there, or jumping in the ruck every now and then.
“Goals is a little indication of my own performance, but I have a lot of things that I’m gauging my own performance on.”
Patton said he was the one primarily barking orders so Cameron, himself and Lobb didn’t get in each other’s way, but Johnson is clearly the main traffic director in the Giants’ forward line.
“He’s been really good for us in teaching us out on the ground – not just in the locker room,” Patton said.
“It’s almost like having (coach) Leon (Cameron) out there.”
Leon Cameron said midfielder Toby Greene would come back into the side for Sunday’s home game with the Western Bulldogs provided he pulled up okay from Thursday’s training.
He said Jacob Hopper, who won the latest Rising Star nomination with a 32-possession debut after coming into the side for Greene, would retain his position.