Fremantle entered Saturday’s game against Richmond sitting in fourth spot with just one loss after six rounds, but the disappointing 49-point loss suffered at the MCG uncovered some critical “issues” for Mark Harvey to ponder.

The coach was dismayed by the uncompetitive last quarter that saw the margin blow out, but the first issue on the agenda is his team’s wastefulness in front of goal early in matches.

“Up until half-time a lot of our structures were quite good, but when you’re on the road it’s been a bit of a trait of ours in not kicking straight early in games,” Harvey said after his team wasted a promising start by kicking 2.8.

“We need to change the mindset of putting scoreboard pressure on early. Perhaps that might freeze the opposition a little bit more from what they’re doing.

“It’s something we need to address. There are issues that we need to get on top of and make sure they don’t come up regularly in our games.

“When you have a crowd like a Richmond crowd they get involved. We were trying to take that away from them, but we just couldn’t because we didn’t kick straight.”

Aaron Sandilands, Matthew Pavlich and David Mundy were key players for Harvey on Saturday, as they have been all season, but that leads to the second issue he must address.

“I would say that we’re getting carried by too few at the moment which is an issue for us,” he said.

“I made a big point of making sure that we share the load. Unfortunately we’re not. We need to have a look at who we play in our side to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Although not willing to lay blame for the loss entirely at the feet of his younger players, Harvey said their inability to keep working to the team structures late in the game was disappointing – another issue up for discussion during the week.

A tough clash against cross-town rival West Coast awaits his team next weekend and Harvey sounded an ominous warning ahead of team selection.

“I’d say that we’ll be making some changes. Players have to accept that that’s not acceptable to lose by that margin on the road,” he said.

“There are some moments in games where we have to get a hell of a lot better. You could blame a lot of things, but young players have to understand the brutal part of the game better.”

Hayden Ballantyne was subbed off with soreness behind a knee in the third quarter, but Harvey is confident the injury will not keep him out of next week’s game.

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