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Ross Lyon Q & A: Rd 4 v Dees

Ross Lyon spoke to the media after Saturday's win against Melbourne. Watch Fremantle's press conference after round four's match against Melbourne

Ross what were your thoughts on that?
Yes, good win wasn’t it. It was a good one, I liked it.

What most impresses you about the performance?
Character to keep on fighting, (we were) interstate, we were down. At the start both teams were in the game and both teams were slaughtering the ball a bit, we just slaughtered it a little bit more. We had some lack of discipline on some 50s in particular Brad Hill, we spoke to him and we know he is a good lad so at half time it was just tightening up our disciplines and competing a little bit fiercer and that tends to just wallpaper over a lot of the other stuff that’s going on. I thought we did that, we had a dominant third. I sat down, tried to get warm in the seat and they kicked two out of the middle and so then it's game on from there. They got out on us a bit but I thought our ability to score when we needed to was strong. We always looked dangerous, we went deep, put some pressure on. I thought everyone played a part at some point.

Tackle pressure in that third quarter went through the roof? Was that a focus at half time?
It was part of it, they were probably out-tackling us a little bit, but they are a very good tackling team. They are very good around the ball but if you can win it around the ball and then get it outside I think we had plenty of opportunities. They were just getting back at us a little bit so we said to the forwards just to release a little bit harder. There was lots of little bits and pieces but at the end of the day it’s not about strategies or tactics its about getting to work and being hard and disciplined and I thought we did that.

Connor Blakely on Nathan Jones, did you think he did a good job?
I have to go away and assess on the surface I thought he competed. Nathan is a fierce competitor and a quality leader, so he was never going to be out of the game and he went to half-back so then we let Connor go back and play in the midfield. That was okay.

Lachie Neale was really impressive up forward. Must be good to rotate him and Mundy up forward?
We talk about changes in the game, I think the changes are mids being able to go forward. So we have (David) Mundy, (Lachie) Neale, (Nat) Fyfe and Stephen Hill in particular, who are able to go forward. That certainly helps our flexibility

Were you happy with the young blokes in the midfield, like Harley Balic and Lachie Weller?
I will have to go away and assess. In the last quarter they got on top around the clearances but certainly we had some critical ones late in the quarter to enable us to get going. There was some good ebbs and flows in there and you can't buy experience, you need to sort of go through it. I thought Harley had his moments, all the guys going through there (did). Ed Langdon was significant at the end with his entry, I think they all played a part at some point.

How important is the result on top of giving the younger players experience?
It’s nice to get  the reward, if you are going to lay there exhausted having spent everything. So that’s the price and if you can get the four points that helps to fuel your belief. We feel our belief in ourselves is growing in what we are looking to do.

Good for Cam McCarthy to play an important role in the last 90 seconds?
More importantly good for the team. He contributed, we see that end piece which is nice but I think Neale to Fyfe, Fyfe out to Langdon who uses his legs and speed and goes to a disciplined spot and lets random chance take over. On the back of that goal there was some hard work up the field and we know there always is. Obviously we are buoyant and I’m buoyant. For Cam, a young forward, he is just coming  to hand and building that chemistry with the group so that’s really pleasing

 

Any injuries?
Stephen Hill has a cork and Ed Langdon displayed great character. It doesn’t sound like much, but he came down with a migraine as we were doing the warm-up and he could have tapped himself out but he said ‘no I will dig in and play’. So for a young player to mentally dig in with something that can be debilitating I thought was pretty impressive.

Was Michael Walters always going to play?
Yes, that was the aim.

 

What was the issue with him?
He was a bit sore, but he didn’t train in the last session. Sometimes you just need to say ‘well we know he will be right by game day, let's trot him down the straight and look after him’ and that’s what we did. I thought he was a bit scratchy early but I thought he really came to hand. All clubs and teams have players carrying issues and you want them to play and you want them to perform and I think they did that. 

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