Harvey slams return to bad habits
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says the recurrence of “bad habits” when playing away from fortress Subiaco must be resolved, following his side’s shock 54-point capitulation to North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
Missing ruckman Aaron Sandilands, Freo won the clearances but were badly beaten on the scoreboard, with a six-goal-to-two second quarter the sole bright spot in an otherwise miserable day.
Fremantle remains tied for fourth with the Western Bulldogs, but a win for the Dogs over Adelaide on Sunday would see them a game clear with just three rounds remaining before the finals.
Fremantle has now lost its past three games at Etihad by an average of 51 points and Harvey said a return to the side’s home-and-away form of earlier years was unacceptable.
“We don’t want to be known to be playing like that on the road,” he said.
“From our point of view, does this mean we go back and play on Subiaco to reverse the form? We don’t want to be doing that.
“We’ve done a lot of things to address that on the road but we seem to be falling back into some habitual habits that have caused us issues in the past.”
Harvey was at a loss to explain Freo’s form reversal, but made no excuses despite the loss of key players in Sandilands, Chris Tarrant, Hayden Ballantyne and Des Headland.
“It’s just hard to work out, going from playing like we did last week,” he said. “Forget about personnel and who played and who didn’t play.
“We got punished from turnovers; 15 goals from turnovers. You may as well just let them drive straight through you when you do that.
“We won stoppages and clearances, that was a positive, but apart from that there wasn’t much else where we gained any advantage at all.
“We got caught in transition and we allowed them to move the ball too easily at times. We didn’t force enough pressure, and the only time we forced enough pressure was when we gained an advantage on the scoreboard, which was in the second quarter.”
Harvey said Sandilands, Headland and Chris Mayne would all be considered for selection ahead of next week’s match against the Sydney Swans at Subiaco.