Andrew Brayshaw knows Fremantle face a big challenge without Caleb Serong against the top of the table Collingwood on Saturday at the MCG.
The vice captain said the midfield couldn’t get the basics right in their loss to Carlton in round 17, dominated in the contest despite ruckman Sean Darcy having career best hitout numbers.
Darcy had 58 hitouts with 20 to advantage, yet the Blues won the clearances 41 to 35 and the contested ball 155 to 135.
“Carlton were just cleaner. When they had an opportunity, they were able to buffer pressure, test the tackle and come out in front of stoppage,” Brayshaw said.
“We had plenty of times where the ball was in our area, (Darcy) hit out really well to us and then whether it was a fumble or allowing their pressure to make us drop the ball, we didn't execute with that side of the game.
“Our strength in the contest has to improve. Sean's doing everything he can to get it into the best area for us and it's our job to secure the ball, test the tackle and drive up front.”


Brayshaw said Fremantle need to execute better against Collingwood.
“It's going to be tough, but we'll look to get back to basics a little bit (with) physicality and pressure,” Brayshaw said.
“We're a really good ground ball team, so we want to get the ball to ground and scrap from there.
“Collingwood love to come out the front of stoppages and are a forward handball team, so we'll be looking at that, pressure that forward handball and go back the other way.”
Brayshaw said Fremantle’s younger midfielders, such as Matthew Johnson and Neil Erasmus, will need to step up in Serong’s absence.
“Caleb's had a really, really good season up to this date, it's going be hard without having him this weekend (against) a really dominant midfield,” Brayshaw said.
“He's really disappointed as well that he's not going to be able to help out there.
“It opens the door for some younger guys to come in and play a bit more midfield minutes.
“It’s the MCG, Collingwood in front of probably 70,000 so it's a really big opportunity for some of those young guys to come in and try and play that role.”
Brayshaw said Fremantle were working on ways to prevent the rough conduct suspensions that have been handed to Serong and Jaeger O’Meara in recent weeks.
“It's definitely becoming harder to get away with those sort of tackles,” Brayshaw said.
“Obviously they're clamping down on it a fair bit.
“We're practicing it, we've got tackle practice today, so we'll get stuck into that.

“I'm not necessarily confused but just disappointed that we're not going to have Caleb.”

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