Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says he is being served well by too few, and midfielder David Mundy clearly is one of them.

The clearance specialist was again among Fremantle’s standout players in Sunday’s Western Derby loss, but a lack of midfield depth is fast becoming an issue for the team as injuries start to take their toll.

Mundy, who had 28 possessions and booted a goal against West Coast, cut a frustrated figure in the rooms after the match as a list of usual suspects topped Fremantle’s best players list.

Second-year star Nat Fyfe (28 possessions and two goals) and Aaron Sandilands (45 hit-outs and five clearances) were the other main contributors for Fremantle, while captain Matthew Pavlich and reliable defender Luke McPharlin pulled their weight.

At the other end of the scale, six Fremantle players had 10 possessions or fewer as their team lost the contested possession count 161-140.

Harvey challenged his middle-tier players to lift after a final quarter capitulation against Richmond last week, but it was the same group of top-end players leading the way for his side on Sunday night.

“To have the game like we did against Richmond, which was really ordinary, I was personally pretty excited to see how the group bounced back this week and it was an ordinary performance,” Mundy told afl.com.au after the match.

“It’s pretty disappointing. There were definitely some challenges within the group through the week and for certain individuals to respond how they did was great.

“On the flip side there were blokes who were fairly disappointed.”

Mundy refused to blame injuries for the side’s poor fortnight, saying if midfielders Michael Barlow (leg) and Anthony Morabito (knee) were available “they might not be getting a kick either”.

The 25-year-old, who was named in last year’s 40-man All Australian squad, has taken his game to another level this season, averaging 28 possessions and five clearances a match.

He was full of praise for midfield teammate Fyfe, who has been a revelation in his second season, averaging 27 possessions and four inside 50s.

The 19-year-old took responsibility for arresting Fremantle’s slide on Sunday, briefly igniting his team with one of the goals of the season in the third quarter – a left-foot checkside effort under pressure on the boundary.

“For such a lightly-framed kid to contribute like he does in the hard ball and tackling side of things is really great,” Mundy said.

Fremantle needs to regroup quickly to maintain its top-four ambitions, with a six-day break ahead of its clash against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

Mundy said the side would continue to focus on winning contested ball after a disappointing loss that saw the club’s seven-game winning run against West Coast ended.

“We’ll try and pick up on what we’re not doing right and address that through the week,” he said.

“To be honest there’s not a whole lot we can do. We’ve just got to put our nose to the grindstone and do the hard work.

“We do have a lot of lightly framed guys out there, so [contested ball] is something we try and improve on each game.”

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