Main content
United by Purple

Lyon post-match Q & A: Rd 5 v Carlton

Ross Lyon addressed the media following Sunday's match. Ross Lyon spoke to the media following the loss over Carlton

Most disappointing performance as a senior coach?
I think it goes close in all seriousness. But I don't want to disrespect Carlton. But we know they're a developing list. They're a long way from home. But we know they defend well. And there were a couple of things that we'll get to. At the end of the day, I don't really question our effort. Was it perfect. I wouldn't say it was perfect effort, and I don't think you ever get it. But i thought our want and desire overall was pretty good. But clearly we're playing some horrible football. We're moving the ball just terrible.
 
And the trend's your friend. Don't catch falling knives. So the same issue really. Not so much in the D 50. But our ability to transition the ball in a productive way out of centre back is our annus horribilis. We need to work on that. Lots of turnovers. First quarter eight for us, seven for them. And then five for five, and two three. So that's the issue. Our stoppage work was ok. It was solid. We're just getting opened up off terrible turnovers. There's some that - you can't say inexcusable, but some things - if a player decides to turn it around and kick it to the bloke and they go back, well in the end you've got to filter those players out.
 
Sometimes they see the right option and can't execute. But quite simply we're playing straight line uncomposed football, high handball, high turnover. And the consequence of that is we're getting beaten and giving ourselves no chance to win. It's as simple as that. So we think we're working on it. But sometimes messages get misconstrued, how you want them to play. You want to flow, you want to handball. But then it just becomes - first quarter 50 kicks and 80 handballs, it becomes a bit crazy.
 
Even the last quarter, build the ball, spread the ball - regardless of any tweaks, previous years, we would have thought we would have done - we had five uncontested marks and 30 kicks. I know it doesn't mean much to you, but it means a lot to us.
 
We look around, what do the best teams do - they kick the ball. They handball and they flow, but they spread the field. They make the opposition defend.
 
Simpson wracked them up because we played straight line kamikaze footy and turned it over in terrible spots. It's pretty simple.
 
The brand we wanted to build, we haven't built. We've built something totally different. So it's back to the drawing board clearly.

Talking points after Carlton loss
 
What does the loss mean?
You can write whatever headlines you write. You're here to write the headlines. If I was you, I would facilitate what we put in front of you - the Dockers are playing really poor football and aren't winning games. That's what it means.  So unless you can arrest that, if you continue that trend - it's just a horrible season isn't it.
 
I feel for our members and fans, and I feel for our players and coaching staff, because it's not what we wanted to produce, but clearly we're producing it. So we have to continue to look at ourselves, and our dreams and our teaching and editing. It's not like it can't be explained.
 
We're incredibly disappointed.
 
Are you shocked at how quickly the club has fallen?
I think we're all a bit shocked. We're all shocked. We're all hurting. The difference between the amateur and professional - the amateur doesn't progress. Professionals are paid to progress. Myself and the players are paid to progress - and the coaches. We need to progress and improve. Because it can get worse if you want to let it, or we need to improve.
It was really disappointing.
 
How bad is Nat Fyfe's leg injury?
We're really concerned in relation to where he's got his plate in his broken leg.
 
Fair to say you are expecting him to miss a significant amount of time?
I'm not sure; I think it was a severe kick to the leg. I don't even know how it happened. Once the investigations are done and I'm sure that will be within 24 hours, I would imagine the club would do a press release and keep everyone updated.
 
How hard was it to manage the sore guys?
It was difficult but it's no excuse. Good teams get it done and great teams don't even worry about it. So Ballantyne had a severe cork and head knock. Johnson was later in the game. But they're excuses. We still had opportunities to win that game. But if you play and move the ball like we're playing we're not going to beat too many.
 
What are you thoughts on the forward line function?
I think that's about where your entries end up, wide, I think they end up under pressure, I think there's congestion. That's all a product I've touched base on. Our ability to transition the ball and spread the ball. The numbers don't lie. We all see the headlines. We're in the bottom three in the competition, ask Collingwood and whoever the other mug is, I don't know.

Place your 3-2-1 votes

So is it back to the drawing board. Where to from here?
I've got no alternative. We don't re-build but re-stump, we re-wire, we re-plumb. Clearly, we just don't roll along. Clearly we're not going to play finals the way we're playing. But you guys can write those things. But it's difficult. We played Darcy Tucker. Peel don't play the week before, you've got Connor Blakely and (Ethan) Hughes who have been going well, hadn't played, injuries. Darcy Tucker had been emergency and then there's no game. So we pick him without playing for two weeks. It's almost not fair on him. But I thought he acquitted himself ok. Clarke off a hamstring, we play him. So they're not excuses but they're some of the challenges. But we'd like to pick people in form. But then it's going to be the balance. Matty de Boer and Tendai Mzungu, they were terrific at Peel yesterday, at Leederville Oval. They played with real tenacity. Connor Blakely got going and Ethan Hughes so this is an opportunity to dig in and show character. There's no use playing young kids and teaching them to play like this. We need to bring young kids in and teach them to play the right way. For me I'm sort of, I wouldn't say I'm invigorated because I'd like to be winning but I see it as a formidable challenge and one I'm really keen to accept and work with the club over the ensuing weeks and ensuing seasons to make sure we can play some really good football.
 
Do you need to regain the faith from the players after introducing something that hasn't worked?
Well I don't think we're doing what we introduced. That's what I would say to you, for whatever reason. We haven't been able to deliver the method we thought we were delivering under pressure. So we need to keep training that, which is spreading the ball better.
 
Do you keep what you've been implementing?
We don't like what's implemented but what we're trying to implement we would like implemented.
 
So what we're seeing isn't what you tried to implement?
Well clearly. Do you think I'm satisfied with that?

Freo lacking composure

Does this year become about developing and working out who stays on your list and who doesn’t?
I can’t represent the club as a whole. We are competitive beasts. We are running into some significant injuries with Aaron (Sandilands) and (Nathan) Fyfe. But sometimes out of crisis comes opportunity. We will go away and sit down with all the key stakeholders and bring everyone on for the journey. I don’t operate in a vacuum and I don’t like to because I need support and guidance. Everyone does. We are not wilting but we are disappointed. Out of this we will forge really strong players and a better system, a strong coaching panel and a strong club.
 
What did you think of Brady Grey’s performance?
I thought he played with real tenacity and competed. That’s why we picked him. Most young players are going to run out of a bit of juice later in the game. We were really pleased. He has great work ethic and resilience. He is trying to build a career. If he can improve his decision-making and his skill he will have all the attributes to be an AFL player.
 
Do you expect to get David Mundy back next week?
Yes – he should be available. He would be one we would bring straight back in.
 
To confirm on Michael Johnson - was it the knee?
Low hamstring related to the knee. They weren’t even sure. They thought he was clear to go back on, but he was hobbling. It didn’t look good. It might be a corky to that area. We will wait for confirmation. We are licking our wounds. I thought it was a fantastic crowd at the Len Hall Game. They were really roaring and they were up for it.  Unfortunately as a coach and playing group we couldn’t deliver. We had a go, but our method is abysmal.
 
Do you regret sending the guys out that were injured throughout the game?
The head doctor makes those decisions.  Just like concussions they conduct concussion tests and they clear them to play. We’ve got a 20-year veteran with us. Ken Withers and Peter Steele who are eminent people who make really caring and informed decisions. Based on that, I think regret is the wrong term.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs