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Fagan: Encouraging a fearless brand of footy

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  April 17, 2017 1:45 PM

Web encourage fearless footy.jpg

DESPITE being mauled on turnovers by Richmond, coach Chris Fagan says he will continue encouraging the Brisbane Lions to play a fearless brand of footy.

The Lions lost their third straight match on Sunday when they fell by 52 points, and were regularly punished by the Tigers for a lack of skill that led to turnovers and goals going the other way. 

But Fagan said there was only one way his team would get better – keep attacking.

"You still have to go for it, how do you get better if you go into your shell? You can't," he said.

"You have to keep trying, exploring and having a crack.

"I don't think anyone in the world has got better by not taking that approach. It will get better as we go along."

Fagan said he would continue to encourage players to be brave with their ball use.

Daniel Rich is one player that has taken heed of the advice in the past fortnight, adding 21 disposals (at 81 per cent efficiency) against the Tigers to his 32 against St Kilda last week.

"I think they are still a little bit gun shy from a few years of not winning many games," Fagan said of the Lions.

"It's a slow process, helping these guys starting to believe in themselves - we've made progress but there is a lot more work to be done."

Highlights: Lions v Richmond

Although they've had trouble at times with their skills, one thing the Lions have shown in the first month under Fagan is a willingness to work hard and apply pressure.

Against the Tigers, that went missing early in the second quarter when Richmond piled on four goals in five minutes to take a huge lead.

Fagan said although he was pleased with the improved effort after half-time, it was a worrying trend of slipping for one quarter each match.

"Whenever our pressure is up, we're scoring well," he said.

"In all of our games this year, when we've had those good runs, it's all about our pressure, our run, our chase, our tackle.

"We won the pressure factor really easily in the second half today, but Richmond beat us in the first half.

"It's no mystery, we've just got to find that effort for longer."

Fagan confirmed running defender Tom Cutler had torn his hamstring and would miss anywhere from two to four weeks depending on scan results.

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