Ross Lyon says his team will have to reconstruct a midfield in the wake of injury to Michael Barlow and suspension to Nathan Fyfe ahead of critical matches against Brisbane and Port Adelaide to finish the home and away season.
Speaking as the Dockers weighed up whether to appeal Fyfe’s two match ban for striking Hawthorn’s Jordan Lewis on Sunday, Lyon said there would be no excuses for Fremantle underestimating Brisbane, especially in the light of their recent loss to St Kilda in Melbourne.
The Dockers have sought an extension from the AFL for a lodgement of any appeal. Applications normally have to be in by 10am.
“It is probably early days but we are going to have to reconstruct somewhere along the line. There are all the usual suspects that are out of the team. I am not going to list them all,” he said.
The Dockers will get Hayden Ballantyne back from injury this week while Anthony Morabito, Nick Suban, Matt De Boer, Garrick Ibbotson and Clancee Pearce head the likely list of “usual suspects” that Lyon referred to.
Of the possibility of a tribunal appeal Lyon said: “All I know is that Nathan is unlikely to be playing football so I plan for worst case scenario.”
Her acknowledged that the loss of Barlow and Fyfe left a substantial hole in his midfield to be filled.
“It is not ideal. Straight away you are losing 60 possessions and a couple of goals. But we are a no excuse football club. We are squarely focused on Brisbane. We will prepare really well.
“They are in really good form. They have some top flight players and they have knocked off some finalists up there. We understand the magnitude of the challenge but we aim to respond powerfully,” he said. “We have had people come and step up in the past and that needs to be done again but what we have done in the past is irrelevant really.
“We will pick a team that we think can get it done. They are pretty good players those two (Barlow and Fyfe) so we understand that. We will just have to have everyone pick up the load just that little bit more.”