The West

Deadline looms for Dockers skipper
Deadline looms for Dockers skipper

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has warned that his skipper Matthew Pavlich must complete training tomorrow to take his place in the team to play Port Adelaide at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.

Lyon seemed quietly optimistic that Pavlich would be ready to play but said it depended on training.

Pavlich was a late withdrawal from Fremantle’s 58-point win over Brisbane at the Gabba last weekend because of a tight quadriceps muscle.

“He has got to tick all of those KPIs. He is moving in the right direction but he has to train tomorrow and if he doesn’t train tomorrow he won’t play. If he does train he will play,” Lyon said.

The Dockers coach also said Michael Barlow (broken thumb) was unlikely to play against Port but Lee Spurr, who came off the ground against Brisbane with a tight quad, would be fit to play.

Lyon dismissed concerns about his team’s form off six day breaks this year. The Dockers have played six matches off six day breaks and lost five of them.

“I have got a strong philosophy that the past is irrelevant. It is what you do today and tomorrow that counts. I wouldn’t think it is a concern,” he said.

“We have a routine we go through. We are really confident in it. The aim is to recover them well and then have a good sharp session tomorrow and then get ready for the game,” he said. “They (his players) are really bubbly and enthusiastic and why wouldn’t you be.”

Lyon paid tribute to the quality of Port’s midfield but said the Dockers were “a pretty handy” team themselves.

“They have got a few, they are at a high level aren’t they. Boak is a superstar. Gray has won the Coaches Association award, pipped Fyfe at the end. They are high quality," he said.

“They have got a great tagger, run with in Cornes so he will go to one. You have got Polec and White on the outside and you have got Ebert the former West Coast player. You have got Lobbe in the ruck. That is their midfield without going into any detail. That is a significant challenge for ours, there is no doubt about that.”

“We feel that our best is good enough and we know that we are improving. I thought it was a significant performance in Brisbane against real adversity losing quality players. It is a tough road trip and we ticked all of the boxes.”

The West Australian

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