COACH Justin Leppitsch is confident that the Lions’ resolve will not be deterred ahead of this weekend’s clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, on Sunday.
“Essendon are always a consistent team and are playing some solid footy, so it should be a good game, and hopefully we’ll bring our best.
“The consistency and playing our roles was no doubt the number one thing that impressed me after the weekend’s game.
“The opposition’s rate was even lower than previous, and that’s the difference when you’re working together as a unit,” he said.
Leppitsch said that he’s trying to keep the team level headed after a tumultuous start to the season.
“We’ve played the extremes already so far, after seven games. I think the boys are aware of that, but it’s a young group and you still have to ride the waves of emotion of the season, and we just have to make sure our output’s consistent.
“I’ve always had faith in what we were doing, it’s just that sometimes the execution wasn’t there, for whatever reason.
“The more we get to the bottom of the reasons, the more you can have faith in what you do and once the faith is there, the consistency tends to follow,” he said.
A pinched nerve has hindered Daniel Merret’s return to the field again, and although Leppitsch is eager for Merrett’s return, he said that Justin Clarke has been a standout in the defence side, not only by stepping up to be the main man but also in directing the younger players around him.
“It’s a concern when you have four or five young kids in the one line, and how long they can hold up for is an obvious concern, so having Daniel back would definitely alleviate a lot of those issues, because they could work around him.
“Justin Clarke has been holding his own though, he’s playing like a 100 game player at the moment, taking in all that pressure at the moment, and doing such a good job.
Leppitsch is hoping that this weekend will be the Club’s third victory, and the kick-start to get the Lions’ season back on track.
Press Conference 21 May 2015