Freo a work in progress: Harvey
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says his side is not yet ready to claim the title of Collingwood’s main premiership challenger following a thrilling Anzac Day win over the Western Bulldogs at Patersons Stadium.
Fremantle, which heads into its first bye for the season with a 4-1 record, responded to a spirited Bulldogs’ challenge on Monday night to win by seven points.
But despite holding onto a top-four spot ahead of clashes with Richmond, Port Adelaide and West Coast, Harvey said it was premature to declare Fremantle a frontline title challenger.
“We’re not there yet. We’re sort of aiming and working hard towards it, but we don’t play Collingwood until later in the year anyhow,” the coach said on Monday night.
“We just need to keep progressing with what we’re confronted with.
“There’ll be sides we play over the coming weeks that everyone will expect us to win (but) we understand that we have to make sure that we’re diligent with what we do with our planning and the way we play.”
Harvey said the side would use its week off to plan and reassess its strategies ahead of a round seven clash with Richmond at the MCG.
“There’s no sense in this game of getting carried away with where you’re at,” he said.
“We understand that if you look at the competition, once again this round’s provided very close results.
“It’s been a big five weeks for us and we get a chance to reassess, regroup and move on.”
Fremantle built a game-high 20-point lead early in the final quarter on Monday night before the Bulldogs booted four straight goals to snatch a six-point lead in time-on.
Harvey said his players’ ability to respond and end a six-game losing run against the Dogs would be unifying.
“Our guys probably now really understand how to fight through difficult times and then win, particularly when the pressure’s on,” he said.
“We’re finding ways, different ways, to win, and it’s not easy.
“The thrill and the excitement of Nick Lower kicking that last goal was something that, to people not involved internally, it’s hard to describe it.
“It provides unity, it provides satisfaction for how hard we’ve worked so far, but we know the job’s not finished yet.”