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Lyon post-match Q & A - Round 16 v West Coast

Ross Lyon spoke to the media following the loss against West Coast. Ross Lyon spoke to the media following the loss against West Coast.

Ross what are your thoughts after that game?
Really disappointed, we came here to perform better than what we did against the reigning premier. There are a lot of things going right at this football club from the board through to our football operations, coaches and players but tonight is really disappointing. We’ll take the feedback, have a sharp review, learn what we need to – we’ve got a lot of young players out there. (Mitch) Crowden goes to (Luke) Shuey and experiences that, Griffin Logue on (Jack) Darling and those sort of things, I could go into more detail but we take the feedback, learn and improve and that’s the only thing we can do, and prepare and train well and put on a better performance down in Launceston (next week). That’s all we can do.

You’ve been competitive all year – did you see a performance like that coming?
No, not particularly, it was a moving feast tonight. The numbers are a bit confusing, you want to get the ball back and centre-forward, and we did a lot of that. They really got us out of transition out of our forward 50 and our attacking mid and we didn’t handle their release, so they made us pay there. I thought we butchered opportunities our way to keep us in the game so, I think seven shots first quarter, six came out of transition, which we should have handled better than we did. So that was disappointing. We had planned for that but didn’t quite execute. Second quarter, then it became out of the middle, whether it be a free kick, I don’t think they just walked out but they had six entries and kicked five goals, one (behind). At one point it was a black hole down there, it was eight entries (for) seven goals against so that’s going to deflate you, but still we had entries but just couldn’t score so we tried a number of things. I thought after half time, the third quarter was a bit better but then the last quarter. They got us at around the ground stoppages a little bit. So it’s a bit of a moving feast, it’s hard to nail one area, but again our inefficiency and skill level was disappointing, so we are here to learn, The competition is very even and there are challenges every week so we need to get back on the proverbial horse, regroup and get ready for the next battle. That’s what league football is about. Our average losing margin has been 11-points, we’ve been in winning positions a lot so tonight was bitterly disappointing, but they are a very good team obviously and I just thought, we all expected better.

The guys seemed really flat how do you rate their confidence now and what do you do to ensure it doesn’t drop too low? 
I thought our intensity was alright at the start, as much as you don’t want to be defined by the scoreboard you have to fight hard mentally when it’s getting away too much to stay at your best. They are only human, you have to hit the scoreboard, we have been doing that. Their attacked average was 82-points and we averaged 78-points and defence was only four points different. Their ability to hit the scoreboard tonight was too easy and that was with no Josh Kennedy. They kicked very straight, but they got it in good spots. Confidence can’t be bought it comes from action, in pre-season we worked really hard to build some belief, we started well and had some belief. We’ve been in every game, so I expected us to be in the game tonight, in some facets we were but ultimately we weren’t. I don’t think their confidence will be at rock bottom, they will see they can be better than that. We’ve had some challenges around availability, we understand that and for a young list that can be challenging. We will need to get moving, I have been really proud of the group’s effort up until this point, but all of us coaches and players we wear this. I’m not here to defend the indefensible. I don’t think we turned it up, we had more entries, but still the numbers were a bit deceptive. 

In terms of personnel do you make a statement for next week’s selection?
Potentially, we will have a look at it. 

How did you see the ruck battle?
We asked a lot of Aaron Sandilands, but Sean Darcy had been beaten up a bit and Rory Lobb had been so critical for us. Our front half has been decimated when we were playing our best football. We lost Jesse Hogan, Matt Taberner and Brennan Cox to injury. We really needed Lobb to go forward and we spoke about managing Sean all year but we haven’t had the opportunity. We needed to get him fresh, he will play in Launceston I would think. I think Aaron did his bit, but Nic Naitanui’s follow up was super, I think he had nine first possessions.  

How has Aaron pulled up physically? 
We just tapped him out, I thought the game was gone and Lobb loves running around. Aaron wanted to come back out, but we didn’t want any risk. We didn’t want to make a really bad night worse. It’s unlikely Aaron will travel to Tasmania, it’s a big trip and a small plane and Sean will be ready to go.

Did Jesse get back to running yesterday?
Yes he did.

How far away do you think he is?
I have no idea it depends how he moves, he started running and then how he feels, soreness, move along, no soreness all of those sorts of things.

How is Nat Fyfe physically and how was he throughout the game, was he restricted?
Not that I am aware of, look he carries a big load. He’s been inspirational all year we just want a few more to step up when they need to.

Was it a shoulder problem that he had to be treated for?
Nothing got fed up to the box, not one thing, so I wouldn’t know.

Three losses in a row now there are some fans feeling a bit worried about where things are heading, what would be your message to them right now?
As I said our average losing margin was 50 points last year, it’s 11, we have been in every game. I think for a young group and where we were we have shifted and then we’ve had some availability challenges that have changed the structure of our team and we are getting entries we just haven’t been as powerful in the front half as we need to be. There’s certainly no panic stations, I don’t think anyone expected us to go through undefeated. It’s a winning business, we have been writing our own story and we want to get back to writing our own story and there’s no reason we can’t do that.

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