Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir says the Dockers got the “reality check” they deserved in the 36-point loss to Collingwood on Sunday.
Fremantle were sitting pretty in second position after eight rounds, behind only undefeated reigning premiers Melbourne.
But a shock loss to the Gold Coast on the road and the loss to Collingwood in similar wet conditions has seen them slip to fourth – only ahead of St Kilda by percentage.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
A tense Longmuir was critical of his players’ mindset heading into the clash at Optus Stadium, stating “everyone was getting way ahead of themselves”.
“We’re a young inexperienced team still,” he said.
“This gives us a reality check.
“We were riding high, everyone was getting way ahead of themselves.
“And when you get way ahead of yourself in footy, you don’t even need to get way ahead of yourself, if you get marginally ahead of yourself in footy, you get a reality check and we’ve gotten that.
“When you are sitting closer to the top, teams come and bring their best and if you are off in any part, you get what you deserve.”
Fremantle had more than +40 uncontested possessions more than the Pies at Optus Stadium, and dominated the hit-outs 59-33.
But their inability to move the ball with speed – a feature of their game in the opening eight rounds – left Longmuir with some concerns.
“As the game went on we just got caught in between with the ball … whether we thought it was wetter than it is, drier than it is. We just fuelled their forward half game,” he lamented.
“We turned the ball over in real poor areas going for stuff in the conditions that just wasn’t on.
“And as it dried up, we kept on playing wet weather footy when they were playing dry weather footy.”
Longmuir said the wet weather football issue was “mental” for his players and was something the club needed to address.
“Some of our players read too much into the conditions and it affects their game too much,” he said.
The Dockers now head into their biggest contest of 2022 – a clash with Melbourne at the MCG in Round 11.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge, but we’ll have a deep look at this one first and learn from it,” Longmuir said.