Young forward Josh Mellington says Fremantle is satisfied with the progress it has made adjusting to new coach Ross Lyon’s game plan following the mixed result in yesterday’s NAB Cup triangular series against Essendon and West Coast at Patersons Stadium.

Freo defeated the Bombers by 36 points in the first game but fell to a 20-point loss against the Eagles.

Mellington said the side’s structures put Essendon under a lot of pressure in the first fixture.

“The pressure in the forward half was immense,” he said.

“It put them under the pump which forced errors and turnovers, which created scoring opportunities.”

The 19-year-old said the shoe was put on the other foot in the second game, with West Coast’s press proving too good.

“West Coast locked the ball in their forward 50 so we struggled with that pressure,” he said.

Mellington said Freo had to take risks if it was to counter a press like the one the Eagles’ employed on Sunday night.

“If we play into their hands they are going to shut you down and you won’t be able to get the ball out,” he said.

“It’s about giving the ball to our runners like ‘Hilly’, ‘Ballaz’ and ‘Fyfey’ to try and break the lines and get the ball through the press.”

Mellington said Lyon was pleased after the game with the teams’ performance in what was the former St Kilda coach’s first official game in charge of Freo.

“He was happy,” Mellington said.

“But we still need to improve and tie everything up before we get to round 1.”

Recruited from the Murray Bushrangers, Mellington felt his own structures on Sunday were good, but he admitted he still had a long way to go to cement a spot in the team.

An improved fitness base following his second AFL pre-season has him in good shape entering 2012, however.

“Coming in as a first year you’re a bit behind the eight-ball,” he said of his rookie 2011 season, in which he made two appearances for Freo.

“I’ve had a full preseason. I’m feeling fit and raring to go.”

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