Ross Lyon has dismissed suggestions that West Coast’s midfield is ‘small and slow’.

The senior coach gave a blunt response when asked if the midfield was an advantage area to Freo because of the Eagles’ supposed stature and speed.

“(Nic) Natainui and (Dean) Cox don’t look too small,” he said.

“(Matt) Priddis is about 6’3, (Matt) Rosa is about 6’2, (Andrew) Gaff has got a lot of run and (Sharrod) Wellingham is 6’0.

“A lot of stereotypes and opinions get thrown around. Bar a couple of fade-outs late, they’d be two or three wins better off.

“We understand we’re playing a formidable opposition.”

Lyon said the ladder positions of the two sides was irrelevant in determining the result of Saturday’s Carlton Draught Derby, which he labelled as a game that divided the state.

“Both teams, it’s their home ground, it’s a Derby,” he said.

“The whole state is involved. Everyone’s looking.

“For our members and supporters, we want to play with a bit of passion on the weekend and try and bank another four points.

“But it will be two hours of incredible hard work and it’s going to be a real challenge for us.”

Lyon revealed ruck/forward Zac Clarke had to pass a fitness test to play against the Eagles.

“He’s got a bit of a sore knee, he’s got to jump a few hurdles this week,” he said.

Lyon also ruled out defender Luke McPharlin.

“We’re aiming for Melbourne (round 16) for him,” he said.