Captain Matthew Pavlich has declared Fremantle a vastly different team to the one thrashed by West Coast in round nine and said they cannot wait to showcase their development at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.
The ninth-placed Dockers could climb into the eight if they topple West Coast, who still have designs on a top-four berth.
The Dockers have won their past four matches but haven't beaten a team currently inside the top eight since they upset reigning premiers Geelong by four points in round one.
West Coast blew Fremantle away earlier in the year, restricting them to just 30 inside 50s and their lowest derby score - 5.6 (36).
But since then Pavlich has established himself as a game-changing permanent forward, kicking 36 goals and helping increase Fremantle's average score by three goals per match.
The team has been overhauled, with only 14 of the 22 who lost to the Eagles in last week's squad.
Matt de Boer has moved into the midfield, David Mundy is match fit and Pavlich said the team had improved considerably.
"I think we've worked hard on keeping a really good forward structure and the mechanisms to defend," Pavlich said.
"I really believe since that game, the group has got a better understanding about how to execute the game plan and therefore we're in a much better position.
"We were probably in the state where we weren't sure where particular guys would fit into the whole system, whereas I think now we're a bit better placed.
"I'd like to think the learning process happened quite a bit throughout the pre-season and it was just a matter of adhering to the game plan.
"I think we knew what to do, we just didn't execute it perfectly.
"But the last two months we've been able to do that, albeit we haven't won some of the games that we would have liked against some of the better teams."
The round-nine derby loss pushed Fremantle out of the eight and they have remained there ever since. While a victory could put them back into the eight, a loss is likely to leave them a win and percentage behind fellow finals rivals with four games remaining.
Fremantle have home games against Richmond and Melbourne, coupled with testing interstate trips to play Adelaide and North Melbourne in the run home.
But Pavlich said the players were not treating the derby as a match which could decide their season.
"Not at all. Make-or-break games, I don't believe in them whatsoever," he said. "There's another five for the year and we approach this game like we did last week, like we did round 15 and like we did round four.
"We believe we've been a work-in-progress all season. We're getting closer to it and hopefully over the next four or five weeks … we front up and play our brand of footy."·Docker Greg Broughton is out for the season after it was announced yesterday that he would undergo finger surgery.
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