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Lyon post-match Q & A: Rd 4 v GWS

Hear from Ross Lyon following Saturday's loss to GWS. Watch Fremantle's press conference after round 4's match against GWS

It was in the balance right up until mid-way through the last quarter?
I think we got two (goals), we came out of the middle, we had a free forward, one of our young players had an opportunity. So it’s good feedback to just keep your composure. I thought the first quarter we were in it, but they were just scoring when they went in the second. Haynes and Shaw were really good I thought on our young forwards who just got lost a little bit. In tough conditions they got back on us. That allowed them to shift the ball out quite well. I thought we fought on, Nathan (Fyfe) was quiet in the first half, really got going. We gave ourselves an opportunity. There are some really good learning’s in that. In context we don’t like to lose, we’d like to win but in the context of what we’ve been doing and the youth, there are still some good signs for us. We are a bit frustrated because we thought we could have executed. They were quite strong, you learn about their run, I think their run is enormous. (Ed) Landgon and (Bradley) Hill are two of our biggest runners and I know GWS probably have a couple of out, but they would have been handy today. I think we continue on and if we can learn a bit from this about how to handle backs like that and making better decisions going forward, because entries were about the same, I think there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for us. 


You only had two guys Nathan Wilson and Brandon Matera who had ever played here before, is that a factor especially given the conditions which are a bit tricky?
I spoke to David Mundy and he felt it was difficult, but I don’t get into that to be honest, they are professional players, good teams play anywhere. It’s good to play in these challenging conditions. At times we were really in it. If you turn around and hit that target and kick one, we probably wouldn’t even be talking about it. I don’t get into it too much. Maybe it affects some but we’d like to be mentally strong and work through that. It’s only another footy ground isn’t it? 

You talk about those defenders and not handling them well, guys like Haynes and Shaw. What do the forwards need to do?
If you go to spots where you can’t hurt them, they will release you into the congestion. It’s hard when you are a young forward, you want to get the ball, you get a bit desperate. Shaw’s been a great player for a long time, Haynes’ very good. We felt we equalised the ball, we changed some things up. When we equalised the number, we did look dangerous. They rolled another one back when they started to identify that, Himmelberg went back. So they are some of the game learning’s, sometimes just hitting a target when you are coming back inside and not turning it over. It’s a fine line. At times I felt we were in it, then I felt we were a million miles away. That’s just how it felt. They are quality, they make you pay pretty quickly and their run is enormous. We were pretty pleased that we found out what the highest levels are in the AFL. We are moving towards that.

What did you make of Mitch Crowden today?
He was really slow to start, he got a bit of a rocket and then got moving. But then he actually found a little bit of the ball and he probably could have executed a little bit (better). He’s one of our rising players. Once he felt the need to get desperate he was good but you’ve got to be desperate from the start that’s probably the feedback to Mitch.  

There was Bailey Banfield giving you someone really reliable to do another job. He did a great job on Whitfield, especially in the first half. I think you might have moved him?
We did move him, look we want to let him play in his own right because he’s a really good competitor, and finds the ball and good decision maker. His execution can improve but again we’re thrilled. I think we have four first year players with four games. It’s really enjoyable but at times there’s going to be some frustrations so we’ve got Taylin Duman who we really wanted to play today. So there’s a few to come through as well and we’ll continue that. It’s an exciting time for the club and I think if you watched us today you’d think we never gave up and that’s what we’re chasing.

What did you think of Aaron Sandilands' game today against Dawson Simpson?
Again it’s a bit like Crowden, it’s hard to individualise, but I thought he looked composed, gave our mids every chance. If Sean Darcy had have been available, he wouldn’t have played today so we would have managed him. But Sean’s out for a while. It’s a big flight but we flew him to Melbourne business class just to try and look after him a little bit more so I thought he was good.

So can we expect to see (Scott) Jones and (Lloyd) Meek come in at some stage?
Possibly. That would be ideal and I think at some point we might do that.

Soon? Do you have any idea as to when that might happen?
Not at the minute, we’ll work through that. As soon as Aaron says ‘I’m really sore and I’m struggling a little bit’ we’ll do that. Jones has been really good, he’s coming to hand well and Lloyd Meek as well. But Aaron likes to play, he probably feels his mortality and he probably doesn’t like hearing we need to rest him but at some point we will. The big flights are the challenge. But we want to expose our list, we need to. I believe in, and I know we’re consistent in, that narrative we’re running and we won’t always be perfect with that. But we’ve got to keep exposing our list. Even these challenges with (Adam) Cerra and (Andy) Brayshaw when you’re in the game do you just keep rolling along or do you change the mix and put Mundy back in to maybe help get across the line so we’ve got to keep striking that balance.

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