Freo's Lyon hits back at critics
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says it's not time to panic despite his AFL team's worrying form slump, claiming he and his players are crystal clear on the areas they need to improve.
The Dockers have been hit hard by fans, past players and the media following back-to-back thumpings at the hands of Hawthorn and West Coast, with Lyon's defensive tactics coming under particular scrutiny.
Tenth-placed Fremantle (5-4) could slip even further down the ladder over the coming month, with Saturday's home clash against third-placed Adelaide to be followed by games against Richmond (MCG), Essendon (home) and Collingwood (MCG).
But Lyon was confident his team would rebound from a disastrous fortnight.
"There's really no panic, but as I always say to my players ... if you're ever under any anxiety or stress, whatever you're feeling, emotions are just feelings," Lyon said on Thursday.
"So whether you're happy, confident or stressed, focus on what's important - that's getting into action.
"We do as a club, that's what I do as a coach."
When asked what he thought of Carlton great Mark Maclure's claim that he was destroying the game with his defensive tactics, Lyon replied: "I don't think I'll dignify that with a response."
But he was more forthcoming when asked about Kevin Bartlett's view the Dockers had become "unwatchable".
"Kevin's been banging on for a long time. I wish when the teams I coach played great football the headlines were as loud," Lyon said.
"At the end of the day there's a lot of minnows out there that like to get heard above the pack, and there's clearly some heavy hitters in journalism that have an opinion.
"You guys are trying to get heard. How do you do that? I don't think you get heard if you're vanilla.
"Everyone's entitled to their opinions.
"I don't think I'll dignify that with a response either."
Lyon said he and his family hadn't been overly affected by the criticism, saying he had been in a "vacuum" while he attended his day-to-day family duties.