Despite it being a more open, high scoring contest than the club’s previous two losses, Garrick Ibbotson says Fremantle did not make any specific changes to its game plan in last Saturday’s match against Adelaide.

Freo had kicked just nine and five goals in disappointing losses over the past fortnight, which opened the door to some intense media scrutiny from those critical of senior coach Ross Lyon’s defensive game plan.

But Ibbotson said the only thing Fremantle did differently against the Crows was an increase in effort and better use of the ball.

“When we get the ball, we can use it a little bit better, that was a focus of ours this week, to try and get the ball away from the boundary line and try and spread a little bit,” he said.

“If you tend to spend a lot of time near the boundary line, you can get stuck in there for a while.

“If you can get the ball and spread, it makes it a lot more open and you can run.”

The 24-year-old said the side’s improved effort on Saturday helped the club in a number of ways.

“If the effort’s there, it makes it really easy for us to recognise what’s going wrong,” he said.

“Most of the time the effort was there.”

Ibbotson also felt his own game against the Crows was improved after he was dropped for the round 9 loss to West Coast.

“It was better,” he said.

“I was out of the team for a reason, and I think that gave me the jolt that I needed.

“I really wanted to perform for myself, for my own pride, and for the team as well.

“I was relatively happy. There are still some things I can work on, but it was a lot better”

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