Fremantle defender Garrick Ibbotson says an "honest chat" with coach Ross Lyon after he was dropped helped him fight his way back into form and consolidate his spot in the Dockers' line-up.
Ibbotson, 24, said he was devastated at watching his teammates struggle in the round nine western derby against West Coast after being left out of the team following a disappointing effort against Hawthorn the previous week.
And effort "100 per cent, 100 per cent of the time" was the ultimatum that Lyon gave him after he was axed.
"I had a pretty honest chat with Ross and he said that his trademark is 100 per cent effort, 100 per cent of the time," Ibbotson said.
"To sit out a derby was really, really tough, to sit through watching the guys play and knowing you wanted to be out there so much but couldn't.
"Ever since then, coming in I have thought I don't want to do that ever again.
"That has been the benchmark for me, 100 per cent effort and I speak to Ross as often as I can, making sure that I am not slipping and to make sure my form stays up."
Ibbotson, who has now played 93 AFL games, said effort would remain the club's key indicator against Greater Western Sydney this Sunday.
Any illusion the club had that there may be easy games had been lost after nearly losing to Gold Coast earlier in the year.
"We prepare as we do for any other game. Everything is the same for us," he said.
"We had a tough game against the Gold Coast early on in the season and we can't afford to be going into games like this thinking that anyone is an easy beat.
"We went up there and they gave us a really tough game and we just happened to get away.
"We want to prepare as normal. Prepare as if we were playing one of the top sides and play the way we want to play, really focus on the things that have been getting us up in the last couple of weeks."
Ibbotson insisted that fellow players would rally around young midfielder Anthony Morabito who has suffered another injury on his reconstructed left knee and will see a surgeon in Melbourne today with fears he may face another reconstruction.
Former stalwart and current development coach Shaun McManus, who had two knee reconstructions mid-career, would be pivotal in support given to Morabito, Ibbotson said."Shauny Mac is fantastic for everyone but for him to have been through the experience that Anthony Morabito is going through, he will be perfect for him."
Should the AFL interfere in the running of Melbourne Football Club?Vote
Do you have a story for us to investigate?
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.