Fremantle’s midfield has to take a big share of the responsibility for the team’s recent scoring struggles and they will spend this week looking at ways to make life easier for the forwards, according to star Will Brodie.
The Dockers’ scoring has fallen away in the past three games. They managed only 65 points against Sydney, then had a 52-point game against Richmond before scoring just 39 points against Melbourne on Friday night.
While the focus turned to underperforming forwards such as Matt Taberner after the match, Brodie said Fremantle’s midfield had to give them better service.
The Dockers have had only 134 inside 50s in the past three games, compared to their opponents’ 165. That is despite Fremantle winning the clearances against the Swans and Tigers and breaking even with Melbourne.
“We can definitely give them a better look at it,” Brodie said.
“We can get the ball in there with greater quality and a bit more connection between the mids and the forwards. There’s lots we can work on. We’ll definitely look at that. There’s no doubt we need to improve in that area. We believe we can make it a focus and really get to our back.
“Their (Melbourne’s) pressure was good around the footy. There were a couple where they went lower and harder and they won critical contests which put us under the pump.
“There’s no doubt they brought their best and we definitely could have done a lot more to get better entries for our forwards and create that connection. It’s definitely something we’ll work on.”
Fremantle have fallen to sixth on the ladder and face a crunch game against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.
The match will have huge ramifications for both teams. Brisbane’s loss to Richmond on Sunday means the Dockers are still only win outside of the top four.
But that result pushed the Bulldogs down to 10th place and they are running out of time to force their way back into the eight to have an opportunity to rectify last season’s grand final loss.
While Fremantle are struggling to play the style of football which they displayed in the first half of the season and questions are being raised about their ability to sustain that form into September, Brodie said the players were remaining positive.
He said there was no doubt within the group of what they could achieve this season.
“There’s no confidence lost,” he said.
“We still have that belief that our best footy is good enough to match it with anyone. It’s just a matter of getting back on the horse, getting back to work and getting back to that form.”