Lyon flags fierce cat fight

Ross Lyon has warned his players they are going to have to "get uncomfortable" to beat Geelong on Saturday and greatly boost their finals prospects, declaring teams can't "sneak" their way to the top four or a premiership.

Lyon also declared Zac Dawson the man to play on Tom Hawkins, Steve Johnson the likely opponent for Ryan Crowley, and captain Matthew Pavlich fit to play after the skipper passed a concussion test yesterday morning.

Lyon said while the Dockers respected Geelong, they were not intimidated by them.

He said Saturday night's match was vital to the top-two and top-four chances of both clubs.

"We know what we are going to get down there, it is going to be fierce," Lyon said. "But this is what you play for. We are not here to sneak around. You can't sneak your way to a premiership or a top four position.

"You have to earn that. You have to beat hard, fierce teams and not always at home where you feel comfortable. You have got to get uncomfortable and you have got to get down there and you have got to get it done."

Lyon had declared that he was preparing not to have Pavlich in his team this weekend after he had failed a concussion test earlier in the week, but revealed the skipper had passed it yesterday morning and would play in Geelong barring further mishap.

"From here there is no reason why he shouldn't play as long as he doesn't become symptomatic later in the week, so now we are planning for him to play. It is a rollercoaster ride," Lyon said.

"He is in good shape. I don't get involved in the technicalities of it. There are some protocols.

"You either pass them or you don't and he has passed it and he is available."

Lyon stressed Pavlich's health would not be put at risk.

"We treat all our players with the utmost care. We have got a real responsibility," Lyon said.

"It is certainly topical, isn't it, concussion? I would think we are world best practice. We are very good in the AFL. Matthew Pavlich is like a son to (doctor) Ken Withers. He has been at Freo for 16 years with him."

Lyon joked that he would "make it a good week for Stevie" Johnson by sending tagger Crowley to him and said Dawson was always his preferred match-up for Hawkins.

Meanwhile, forward Michael Walters was almost certain to resume in the WAFL.

"We would love to play him. I played Steven Baker 14 weeks out straight into a grand final and he was magnificent," he said.

"Son-son (Walters) could do that but to be fair to him we have got some time up our sleeve. Really, to do the right thing by him he will play in the WAFL this week. Hopefully we will be able to select him on form the week after."

Hayden Crozier and Tom Sheridan are the frontrunners to replace the injured Tendai Mzungu, while Alex Silvagni will also be available after accepting a WAFL tribunal reprimand for a late bump on Perth's Aidan Tropiano from the final seconds of last Saturday's Peel win at Lathlain Park.

The case was adjourned for 24 hours before the impact was eventually judged as medium without going to the tribunal, with the offer based on Silvagni's good WAFL record.

Colin Sylvia will miss several weeks after injuring a hamstring at training this week.

You can't sneak your way to a premiership or a top four … You have to earn that. " *Ross Lyon *


The West Australian

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