Fade out hurts Freo
Another final-quarter fade out in Melbourne has put Fremantle’s spot in the eight in jeopardy and left coach Mark Harvey feeling frustrated after Friday night’s 41-point loss to St Kilda.
Fremantle trailed the Saints by just three points at three-quarter time, but conceded six goals to none in the last term.
Fremantle has played four times in Melbourne this season without a win, managing a total of just three goals in the last quarter of those four games while their opposition has kicked 28 over the same period.
Harvey thought his team was “terrific” until three-quarter time.
“It is just a little bit frustrating to fall away in games like that,” he said.
“The reality is we are just lacking in some class, but I can’t question their effort.”
Harvey said the Saints had taken control of the clearances in the final term and his team had not been able to run with St Kilda late.
“It was too much space forward of the stoppage and they just got in transition, ” he said.
While Fremantle has been hit hard by injuries this season, the coach said rotating players back into the team had hurt their ability to run out games.
Harvey is hopeful that several big names will return in the coming week. Aaron Sandilands, who has been missing with a toe injury, and David Mundy (leg) could be available for the vital clash against Carlton in eight days’ time.
“We will see how they go, training determines everything,” he said.
“Whenever they are available we are going to bring them in.”
In a difficult run home, Fremantle will play Carlton, North Melbourne, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs in the final month of the home and away season.
“We have got two more games at home (so) we will see what happens,” Harvey said.
“Potentially another two games back here against teams that are around where we are. So, we get to find out whether we are a contender.”
Fremantle could lose its place in the eight by the end of the round, with Essendon and North Melbourne both in a position to take the spot should they win over the weekend.
“We have got four chances to go, haven’t we? We are fully aware of the situation,” Harvey said.
“It is the most critical time (considering) where we are at, and who is coming. I would like to think that we have got four weeks to go, and that the team can still rally, like the team has done throughout different stages.
“At least we can do something about it. It is not beyond us; that is the exciting part of keeping the season alive.”
Fremantle could lose Adam McPhee to suspension, with a high hit on St Kilda defender Sam Gilbert in the second quarter likely to come under scrutiny from the match review panel. Harvey said he had not seen the incident during the match.