Players back Leppitsch: Lions captain

Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff does not expect speculation about their AFL club to go away soon despite under-fire coach Justin Leppitsch receiving the backing of Lions CEO Greg Swann.

Swann has been forced to defend the underperforming Leppitsch amid speculation the coach has lost the playing group, guaranteeing he will remain at the helm in 2017.

Brisbane have struggled to a 1-10 start and sit above only Essendon on the ladder after seven straight losses.

Rockliff said Leppitsch had the full support of the players ahead of Saturday’s AFL Gabba clash with Fremantle.

But he expected speculation to continue to swirl around the club.

“Especially if you have won one game, it’s the media’s job to look for something and try to put cracks amongst the footy club,” he said.

“(Leppitsch) takes the full brunt of it.

“I am confident in the path we are taking.

“The playing group has the full support of Leppa and Leppa has faith in the playing group.”

Rockliff said their clash with Fremantle was a must-win if they were to salvage anything from their season.

Fremantle notched their first win of the year last round, with a thumping victory over Essendon.

Earlier on Tuesday, Swann said the under-contract Leppitsch wasn’t going anywhere.

“From our club’s point of view there is no problem,” Swann told SEN Breakfast.

“He’s contracted. I got asked on the weekend about is there any pressure and I said, ‘Not from the club, there isn’t’.”

On speculation Leppitsch had lost the playing group, Swann said: “I saw the article which said he had lost the support of the players but I think there have been 19 re-signed.

“So if they are all upset and don’t like the coach, I don’t think that would happen.

“So we will see who is proven right in the end.”

Swann denied speculation the club would ask for a priority draft pick at the end of the season if they failed to win more than five games.

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