Maligned Fremantle defender Zac Dawson is set to hold his spot for Saturday’s clash with Adelaide after a glowing endorsement from coach Ross Lyon.

Dawson has struggled to jell with experienced backmen Luke McPharlin and Michael Johnson as the Dockers slowly adjust to Lyon’s playing style.

Fremantle’s faltering backline was exposed in the Western Derby loss to arch-rivals West Coast, with many critics and fans pointing the finger at Dawson.

But Lyon is standing behind his former St Kilda charge despite admitting he should not have played three tall defenders against the Eagles.

“I don’t think too many tall forwards have hurt us this year,” Lyon told 6PR.

“Zac’s really working on his kicking, but he really is more of a lockdown defender, not unlike Glass and Mackenzie.
“On the weekend, I think it was compounded by Alex coming in and we had three that really couldn’t bounce out, so when (the Eagles) went a bit smaller, we were a bit top heavy

“Zac’s a part of that, but ultimately we didn’t spread the ball well from defence.”

Lyon also has problems at the other end of the ground to resolve after the Dockers entered their attacking zone just 30 times, including only seven after half-time, in the derby.

But the coach is refusing to panic despite his team’s second savage defeat in as many weeks.

“You’ve seen us score quickly and score 100 points and have 28 shots this season,” Lyon said.

“We’re not panicking. We’re confident that (lack of inside 50 entries) is easily fixed.

“We’ve got a clear direction on what we need to fix and I’m sure (the players) will walk out of the review very confident they can deliver against Adelaide.”

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