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Walker defends slow ball movement

Michael Whiting  June 21, 2016 2:30 PM

We're Sticking Together Josh Walker says the team is still strong and sticking together.

JOSH Walker has defended the slow ball movement that led Brisbane Lions fans to boo their own team on Saturday, saying sometimes they had to bide their time before attacking.

The Lions had 110 more disposals than the Eagles, but often chipped the ball sideways and backwards for uncontested possessions.

They went inside forward 50 five fewer times than West Coast and never really threatened to win.

Walker, who kicked four goals in his best game since transferring from Geelong, said while the Lions would prefer to attack quicker, sometimes it just wasn't possible.

"We're encouraged to continue to be attacking and still use our skills and back ourselves to hit those attacking kicks," he said.

"At times possessing the ball is not the worst thing.

"It maybe doesn't look great to the fans, but if we've got the ball, then they don't.

"It's the easiest way to make them defend.

"I understand it's maybe not the best to watch, but understand we're trying to bide our time.

"Sometimes you've got to hold on to it until that option opens and you can attack and be fast.

"I know they'd (fans) want us to be attacking and go forward inside 50 and we'd like that as much as them, but we've got to work through it."

Despite the slow service, Walker said the midfield had made good progress in recent weeks.

For so long a poor contested ball team, the Lions won that count against the Eagles 138-125.

"As a forward you'd like it to come in with no pressure every time and come in nice and get hit up for uncontested leads, but in footy that's not the way it is, and there's a lot of good teams out there," Walker said.

"I still feel we had our opportunities."

Speaking ahead of Saturday's match against Richmond at the MCG, Walker said despite losing nine straight matches, the team had stuck together well.

"I get the feeling the mood's worse outside the club than it is in," he said.

"We're copping a bit in the media, but internally the guys are still sticking together pretty well.

"It's not like everyone's walking around all week heads down, the energy's still pretty good for where we are.

"We might not have the support of the outside world but we do have each other and we'll try and stick together through the hard times. That's all you can do really."

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