Young Fremantle defender Nick Suban says the lure of a top-four finish will not become a distraction as the team prepares for a crucial round 20 clash with the Sydney Swans at Subiaco.

Freo’s 54-point loss to North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium cost the side the opportunity to temporarily leap to third position, but Suban said the only priority was a return to form.

“(A top four finish) is not something we really think about,” he said.

“We are focusing on getting our recovery right and preparing for next week. Whether we get [injured ruckman] Aaron [Sandilands] back or not, we just want to get ready for Sydney and do the best we can.

“We have to get back to the way we play footy; hitting targets, applying pressure and better delivery through the midfield.”

Fremantle’s execution and turnovers were costly on Saturday, with more than 30 per cent of the side’s kicks either ineffective or clangers, while 11 handballs were clangers compared to North Melbourne’s five.

Suban said he didn’t believe the side was suffering a post-Derby hangover.

“We treat every game as important as another so we were really hungry this week to get a win for Fremantle,” he said,

“It was just disappointing. We turned the ball over and didn’t attack the contest and we didn’t put pressure on as well as we would like.”

Freo’s highlight of the afternoon was a second-quarter revival which cut the lead to 11 points at the main break.

“Harvs (coach Mark Harvey) just said we have to limit our turnovers and get pressure on the ball carrier to get back in the game,” Suban said.

“I thought in that second quarter we started to hit our targets and find our men inside 50 and it got us back in the game.

“Coming into half time we were really confident we could finish the game out well so we were confident we could run over the top of them. But we turned the ball over and couldn’t get the pressure on the ball carrier.”

“Over four quarters, what let us down was our decision making.”

Suban praised the efforts of stand-in ruckmen Kepler Bradley and Michael Johnson, who despite the loss of Sandilands, won the hit-out count 32 to 19.

“Kepp and Johnno were really good today. Obviously we weren’t going to have Aaron so it was going to be tough. We just wanted to be competitive and make it a contest and do the best we could.”

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