Swans wary of AFL conquerors Carlton

Sydney confront the same opponent that pushed them to rock bottom earlier this AFL season, with coach John Longmire scoffing at suggestions of complacency.

The final round of the regular season is expected to deliver some lopsided results but none of the nine favourites will start as short-priced as Sydney.

The Swans are fully expected to crush Carlton at the SCG on Saturday.

The obvious risk is Longmire’s charges, who have become the first VFL/AFL team to rally from an 0-6 start and reach finals, start thinking about September instead of the job at hand.

Longmire is adamant that won’t happen after their epic win over Adelaide.

Part of the 2012 premiership coach’s confidence comes from the fact most of his players boast finals experience and know the importance of momentum.

Everybody at the club also harbours clear memories of Sydney’s most recent loss to any side that isn’t Hawthorn.

It came four months ago, in round six at the MCG, and served as the catalyst for their resurgence.

The Swans, publicly shamed for letting Carlton physically go after young gun Callum Mills in that 19-point defeat, snapped out of their slumber and proceeded to win 13 of their next 15 games.

“It’s always in the back of your mind that they played really well against us last time … they beat us quite well,” Longmire said on Tuesday.

“We can’t escape that.

“We need to play better this time, we think and we know we’re in better form but we still have to go out and do it.

“They’re a really tough opponent; they beat Hawthorn on the weekend.”

The Swans are a chance of finishing in the top four but they’ll need to win and rely on Port Adelaide and Richmond folding, against Gold Coast and St Kilda respectively.

They could also leapfrog Port on percentage if both sides record contrasting wins.

Longmire wouldn’t be drawn on his side’s hopes of winning the flag from outside the top four, like Western Bulldogs did last year.

“The Bulldogs were able to do it and it worked well but they still had to play four really tough, hard games,” he said.

“You need to play really good footy for a month.”

Sam Naismith trained well on Tuesday with Longmire unsure whether the fit-again ruckman will return against Carlton at the expense of Kurt Tippett or Callum Sinclair.

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