Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer" after Freo's 51-point win against Richmond but was left thinking about the significant improvement still left in his team after playing at a seven out of 10 level.

Fremantle won comfortably against a hard-working Tigers team on Saturday night and will finish the round just two points adrift of second-placed Carlton ahead of a trip to Tasmania to take on Hawthorn next Saturday. 
They didn't have it all their way, however, as their clearance game was stripped from them and ruckman Sean Darcy (concussion) and key defender Josh Draper (corked leg) finished the game early with injuries. 
Longmuir said there were positives to take away from a mostly polished performance but also frustrations, including a second quarter that he labelled one of the worst of Freo's season.


"To win by 50 points, you don't want to be Debbie Downer, but I just think we've got so much improvement left in us," he said. 
"After quarter-time we got beaten at clearance, I know mainly on the back of 'Nank' (Toby Nankervis) and I thought he was super for them. 
"He got on top when Sean went out of the game. I think some of that predictability with our ball use left us vulnerable, and some of our intent to pressure and hunt across the game was a little bit inconsistent. 
"We had some good moments and some things that would be a little bit frustrating. I thought we played to probably a seven out of 10."
On the positive side, Fremantle kicked more than 100 points for the fourth time this season and showed it could adjust its game when its stoppage strength was taken away by opposition performances and tactics. 
With star midfielder Caleb Serong tagged by Jack Graham, fellow vice-captain Andrew Brayshaw stepped up to perform brilliantly, with Longmuir warning Fremantle needed to be prepared for opponents to try different tactics to strip the midfield of its weapons.


Asked if he felt like the third-placed Freo were being underestimated after 10 wins and a draw from 16 games, Longmuir said he was not bothered if that was the case. 
"Hopefully we sneak up on the comp. I don't think club land see it like that though. I think clubs are preparing for our strengths, hence the numbers up around stoppage," he said. 
"I don't think we're sneaking under the radar in club land. But externally, I don't really get caught up in it.
"I thought we were able to take the confidence out of last week and we applied ourselves pretty well, so you've just got to keep reinforcing who we take our feedback from and keep trying to build."
Longmuir was pleased with the return of key defender Brennan Cox, but doubted captain Alex Pearce would make an early return from a fractured forearm against the Hawks. 
There were options to replace Darcy next week, with key forward Pat Voss kicking six goals in the WAFL and big ruckman Liam Reidy performing well.