Justin Leppitsch admits he could have easily dumped half his team in the wake of Brisbane’s latest AFL catastrophe.
Instead, he will give the battling Lions another chance to prove themselves when they travel to take on top four contenders Adelaide in what looms as another likely bloodbath on Saturday night.
The Lions were smashed to the tune of 94 points by Port Adelaide last weekend, renewing the pressure on Leppitsch ahead of an end-of-season football review that will determine his future in the job.
However, Leppitsch said he would resist the urge to make wholesale changes this week.
“You have a week when we have a lot of players down, you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Leppitsch said.
“It’s the sort of week where you can drop 15 blokes or stick with them and we’re probably more in the stick-with-them phase.”
Brisbane are the AFL’s worst defensive team while the Crows – who beat Essendon by 82 points last week – are the competition’s most potent in attack.
“It’s not a good combination is it?” Leppitsch said.
“Obviously defence has to be our focus and we’re working hard on that, structurally and the skill-based stuff, sticking tackles and things like that, both are falling apart at the moment.”
Ruckman Stefan Martin, who was rested last week, is battling a variety of niggling injuries and Leppitsch said it was unlikely he would play.
A bullish Leppitsch said the Lions were still aiming to win, despite the Crows’ daunting form and strong record at Adelaide Oval, and Brisbane’s continued woes.
“I know exterior people think ‘you’re going down and it’s just the margin’, but I don’t think like that,” he said.
“I go to every game to win and I want our players to feel the same.
“We know it’s a difficult challenge but we accept the challenge.
“You accept it or you don’t, that’s the two options you’ve got in footy.”