They flunked their Hawthorn test badly, but the Sydney Swans insist their confidence won’t be buffeted by the pummelling they got last weekend.
Sydney Swans defender Nick Smith says there’s no bad vibe around the club following their 89-point AFL home loss to the premiers at ANZ Stadium last Saturday.
Another loss away to second-placed West Coast in Perth on Sunday and a Richmond home win over ladder leaders Fremantle the day before could result in the Tigers tipping the Swans out of fourth spot.
Smith insists there is no residual damage done to Sydney’s confidence by the largest defeat they have suffered in the almost five-year tenure of coach John Longmire.
“I’m confident we can bounce back from this, we’ve had bad losses before and been able to respond,” the Swans’ leadership group member and 2014 All-Australian representative said on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a bad vibe around the club or a lack of confidence.”
Smith conceded the Hawks exposed all of Sydney’s frailties but he emphasised the timing of the loss gave them time to fix those areas before the finals.
“Playing Hawthorn is a good test of where you sit,” Smith said.
“If you are a bit off you get exposed and that’s exactly what happened on the weekend.
“It’s better to have it happen now than in seven or eight weeks time.
“There’s definitely things we need to address and get into quickly, but we have also got the time and chance to do that.”
Smith said the Swans’ focus had been improving team aspects of their game like covering for each other.
“We went through a meeting on Monday and addressed those things, it’s definitely something we need to improve on,” Smith said.
“A team focus is what we need this week. It is a massive game and a massive challenge for us and we need to take that team approach in if we’re to have a chance of winning.
“They’ve got a pretty potent forward line. They’ve got plenty of guys who can go through there and we’re going to need all 18 of us on the ground to step up.”
He nominated Heath Grundy and Sam Reid as potential candidates to oppose the Eagles’ Coleman Medal pacesetting forward Josh Kennedy, who would have been marked by the suspended Ted Richards.