Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe expects both players and fans to really feel the pain in the aftermath of a disappointing 59-point RAC Derby loss on Sunday.
Freo fans had reason to be hopeful of continuing a three-game winning streak, going up against a West Coast outfit missing more than a handful of their top players.
Instead West Coast ran over the top of Fremantle in the second half to extend their RAC Derby streak to 11 games.
Fyfe said Freo would soon show they are better than what they put up on the day.
“They deserve to feel flat, we’re really flat too. We’ll be hurting for the next 24 hours,” Fyfe said.
“It’s important that we understand that the season does take ebbs and flows. We are building towards our best footy, we’re nowhere near it at the moment. Today gives us some great learnings.
“At 4-3, we’ve given ourselves a good platform, we have another home game against Brisbane and we’ll be looking to get the win there.
“We’re clearly a class below West Coast still, but that gaps going to get closer and closer as our younger players continue to get more footy in and more experience and we get to play them gain later in the year, hopefully in front of our home fans.”
Freo were arguably playing better football despite trailing West Coast at half time and Fyfe was most disappointed in Freo’s inability to stop West Coast when they got the ascendancy in the second half.
“I felt for half the game we fought really well and played with a good system and shape but our depth was tested, we’ve got a few injuries and their better and more experienced players got on top in the midfield battle and just ultimately they went forward and scored,” Fyfe said.
“They used the width of the ground really well. They play Optus quite well and we just couldn’t go with them once they got on a roll with a couple goals.
“They started beating us in the contest and from there it was really hard to play our system.”
Fyfe praised Heath Chapman, whose day appeared to be over early after injuring his shoulder in a contest, but the 19-year-old stayed on the ground and soon made a goal-saving spoil.
“It was really brave from young Heath, he’s a tough player and hopefully his shoulder’s not too bad,” Fyfe said.
“Sometimes we need players to play through a bit of adversity and I thought he was really brave today.”