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Fremantly Football Club

We’re hitting the numbers we need: Lyon

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Ross Lyon often says he doesn’t like to focus on wins and losses and on Friday at Optus Stadium at his weekly media conference, the Fremantle senior coach explained why.

Fremantle currently sit 13th on the ladder with six wins and seven losses following the round 14 bye. 

Ahead of Fremantle’s mid-season clash with Brisbane in 2017, Fremantle were 6-5 and inside the top eight but they lost by 57 points to the Lions who recorded their second win of the season. 

This Sunday, Freo again come up against a Lions outfit looking for their second win of the season and Lyon explained why he expects his team will perform better this time around.

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“We have just completed our half-year assessment year-on-year and benchmarked ourselves against our top four values,” Lyon said.

“(It showed) our best football this year is a lot better than our best last year. 

“Our scoring percentage off possession gains, when we’re playing our best footy, is the equivalent of what the best are doing in the AFL.”

Lyon said that in many of Fremantle’s eight wins in 2017 – four of which came by under a goal – the team wasn’t reaching the targets that they are currently hitting.

“That’s really important because when we were winning last year we were still under on those numbers,” Lyon said. 

“We’re building a better model and we just want to continue focusing on that.”

Lyon said Fremantle’s biggest improvement has come from the backline and conceded more work needs to be done in attack. 

Round 12 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee Brennan Cox is likely to be a part of this improvement up front, as will the expect return of Matt Taberner later this season – who’s absence has been hard felt since breaking his foot in round five.

“We know defensively we’ve improved by two goals on average and when we’re playing well we’re hitting the numbers we need to hit,” Lyon said.

“We’re aiming for consistency in all those mechanics.

“It just shows that we’re improving and it’s nice and it does feel good. We like to win and our aim is to win on the weekend but results are just distracting.”

Ahead of Sunday’s game at Optus Stadium, Lyon said he was hopeful defender Alex Pearce would play – albeit with his hand in a splint - after breaking his thumb in round 12. 

“We went to the surgeon and he’s given Alex the all clear,” Lyon said.

“We’ll just need to see how he’ll handle the ball. Hopefully, he trains well today.

“We’re in good form, so we’ve got some selection headaches.”

Lyon also said that Fremantle would monitor how midfielder Bradley Hill trains before seeing if he plays for Peel against Swan Districts in the WAFL on Sunday. 

The midfielder last played for Fremantle in round two, where he injured his knee in Freo’s win against Essendon.

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