Dockers coach Ross Lyon has hit back at some of his critics.Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has hit back at the critics who panned his tactics from last week’s AFL loss to Richmond, saying they got it wrong.
AFL great Garry Lyon said Fremantle’s decision to feature a five-man forward line so they could have an extra man in defence was a poor one.
The Dockers dominated the clearances (43-23) and hit-outs (57-16), but were smashed by 77 points.
Garry Lyon questioned why the Dockers coach would play five forwards against the best defence in the competition when they were winning the clearances.
But Ross Lyon challenged the critics who suggested he chose to play a seven-man defence.
Instead, he said it was a case of the forwards not doing their job well enough.
“Well there was no seven-man backline,” Lyon told channel 7.
“Ninety per cent of teams at centre-square bounces start an extra off the back that runs through.
“In this case I think it was Bailey Banfield at the start.
“I heard Garry Lyon’s commentary, and I respect Garry, and he was right – we didn’t have representation in front of the ball consistently. That’s been a focus of our review.
“(But) there was no seven-man defence. It was quite inaccurate.”
Lyon has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks after it was reported that he was the Fremantle official at the centre of the sexual harassment storm engulfing the club.
Lyon is still refusing to comment about the incident, with the club hopeful they can ride through the drama without further damage.
“I can’t control the media and what’s been written and said,” Lyon replied when asked if he felt the level of attention had been warranted.
“My focus is on coaching our team well, giving them strong leadership and direction, and I feel like I am doing that.”
Stephen Hill (quad) is in doubt for Saturday night’s clash with St Kilda at Optus Stadium, while Brad Hill (knee), and Michael Walters (knee) are still missing.
Injury-prone midfielder Harley Bennell played his first WAFL game of the season last week, and made it through unscathed.
Bennell, who injured one of his troublesome calves in February, tallied nine disposals and a goal in limited minutes playing as a forward.
The 25-year-old has been working with a specialist ballet physiotherapist in a bid to finally overcome his calf issues, and the early signs have been positive.
“We think that’s helped complement his overall program,” Lyon said.
“He got through on the weekend, he’s smiling. We’ll build him up.
“If it all went smoothly, over the next three or four weeks there’ll be an opportunity to play senior footy.”