Tigers need to fire up for FreoChloe Saltau
May 7, 2011
WITH Nathan Foley fit, Dustin Martin firing and Trent Cotchin showing what happens when conscientiousness meets immense talent, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick could be forgiven for thinking he has the makings of the league's next superstar midfield at Tigerland.
Hardwick, though, is not getting carried away, and regards today's match against Fremantle at the MCG as the ideal chance to test his developing team against a top-four side.
The Tigers are seeking their third win in succession after victories against North Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions, but the coach acknowledged yesterday that they had stumbled against tougher opposition with poor performances against Collingwood and Hawthorn.
The trick, he said, was to close the gap between the side's best and worst efforts.
''Superstar is probably a bit far-fetched, but we think we have got the makings of a good midfield,'' Hardwick said.
''How that goes, they are obviously good players, but the measure of a player is not so much the quality of his good games, it's the quality of his bad ones and that is what we have got to iron out, the inconsistency of our midfield group. Their poor games, if we can raise those to a better level, we will be better as a whole.
''They have shown some good signs this year. In saying that, we are still outside the eight.
''We have a fair way to go in a lot of areas, those guys have still got an enormous amount of improvement in them. Where they go, hard work will dictate that.''
Jackson returns from a striking suspension with some stern words from the coach about discipline ringing in his ears.
''We've had a few chats, me and Daniel, over the course of the last two years. He's just got to take himself out of those situations because it costs Daniel, but it costs us premiership points. Last week, Simon Black had 33 and 10 or 11 clearances, if Dan Jackson plays that game that doesn't happen and it could quite easily have cost us four points,'' Hardwick said.
''He knows how important he is to us from a playing point of view but also from a leadership point of view so he is well aware it can't happen any more.''
Hardwick has great admiration for the Dockers, and regards steepling ruckman Aaron Sandilands as an all-but unstoppable force. But he also believes Richmond has gained great belief from its performances over the past fortnight.
''Confidence in a young group is immeasurable,'' Hardwick said.
''It will be a daunting game, but one we're very much looking forward to.''http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/tigers-need-to-fire-up-for-freo-20110506-1ec8r.html#ixzz1LckRQdBD