FREMANTLE coach Mark Harvey says his young side took another giant step forward after recording a nine-point win over fellow finals contender Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

Consecutive losses to Adelaide and St Kilda had some questioning Freo’s ability to maintain their early-season form, but Harvey was delighted with the team’s greener players stepping up.

“We mixed up some of our younger players and gave them unfamiliar roles and they coped with it quite well,” he said after the match.

“Sometimes the opposition tends to focus on our older players but if you can move some of our younger players around in specific areas and they can understand what we are doing, they can jump up as well and I think they did that today.

“You look at periods of the game and starting to see our younger players take the game on when it’s pretty crucial.”

The win was Fremantle’s third on the road in 2010, and the side goes into its mid-season break with nine wins and eying off a position in the top four for the first time since 2006.

“Some of our guys are getting pretty resilient,” Harvey said.

“We come at teams when we are behind … but more importantly when we get in front and we get challenged we still find something.”

The Fremantle coach also paid tribute to midfielder Paul Hasleby who celebrated his 200th game in winning fashion, finishing the game with 21 possessions and one goal playing as a forward.

“He has had a hard road,” Harvey said.

“He is one of those guys who is not blessed with a lot of natural talent but he has had the ability to play around with what he has got. He is a guy who always puts his body on the line and always is in the game.”

Frermantle now enjoys a two-week break before the round 14 clash against Port Adelaide, with Harvey hinting the likes of Des Headland, Greg Broughton and Michael Johnson could force their way back into the side.

“Our team needs a break… we probably have six blokes who may come back in the next month who could probably add some pressure,” he said.

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