The West

Pavlich kicking goals is what Dockers need
Fremantle Dockers midfielder Nick Lower. Picture: Ian Munro / The West Australian.

Matthew Pavlich's outstanding recent goal-kicking performances have underlined the importance of Fremantle's midfielders maintaining their form so he doesn't have to move back to the centre square, according to Nick Lower.

The Dockers beat the Western Bulldogs by 38 points at Patersons Stadium last Sunday with Pavlich kicking 6.2 in a best-on-ground performance.

He has booted 23.8 in the past five weeks to move into fifth place in the Coleman Medal race and give Fremantle a clear target in attack.

Lower has played the past three games and joined Matt de Boer as midfield inclusions since the decision to leave Pavlich close to goal.

Fremantle won the clearances 42-39 against the Dogs and Lower said it was important for the midfielders to continue to do their job.

"Pav's one of those guys that you want one of him down back, one in the midfield and one up forward," Lower said.

"It's a luxury for us to have a guy like Matthew Pavlich in the team.

"If we can get our hands on the ball and kick it inside 50 to Pav one on one, he kind of does the rest."

Lower had to wait until midway through the season to play for Fremantle after missing the early rounds because of a suspension carried over from last year.

He averaged 25 possessions from six games for Perth in the WAFL before getting a recall and has given the team another hard body around stoppages.

"It's been one of those things, with a suspension and a couple of injuries," Lower said.

"If I play my part and do what the coaches ask me to do, that's a step towards staying in the side."

The Dockers' win-loss ratio has returned to seven wins and seven losses. They have now won the same number of games as eighth-placed St Kilda, but Fremantle have an inferior percentage.

The Dockers face Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday in what is another winnable game.

Lower said the players couldn't afford to treat any team lightly.

"Sure, they're low down the ladder, but you can't just rock up. We saw them beat Essendon a few weeks ago when they played some fantastic footy and they have some fantastic young players," he said.

The West Australian

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