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Fagan: Small steps making big change

Michael Whiting, AFL Media  June 22, 2018 11:12 AM

Fagan: Focusing beyond wins Chris Fagan speaks to media about cleaning the slate for the second half of the season, ahead of Round 14 against GWS.

Chris Fagan says the time will come when Brisbane should be judged on its number of wins, but that time is not now.

The Lions have won just once in the opening 12 rounds ahead of Saturday's match against Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba.

But despite bringing up the rear of the table with Carlton, Fagan says it's unfair to judge his team's progress on the number of wins it can generate in the second half of 2018.

"I've never talked about wins. We keep trying to improve every week," he said.

"There's no such thing as a pass mark, it's how competitive we are each time we play.

"There will come a point in time where we become more pointy in terms of wins and losses, but that's not where we're at as a group at the moment.

"We're a far more competitive team this year against all teams than we've been in the past."

Fagan pointed to defensive improvement in the past 18 months, dropping points conceded by almost six goals, as an example of development.

He said he would judge Brisbane's improvement for the remainder of the season on how it defended, won the football and moved the ball more than the outcomes of matches.

"We're getting there incrementally," Fagan said.

"We'd like to get there fast but it doesn’t work that way.

"It's those small steps that you do relentlessly and we know if we do that we'll be a very, very competitive team in the not too distant future."

Fagan said he would not reading too much into Brisbane's 34-point loss against the Giants earlier this season, believing both teams had changed significantly since their round six encounter.

He said although the Lions would closely monitor in-form forward Jeremy Cameron – who currently sits second behind Ben Brown in the Coleman Medal race with 32 goals – most of his attention would be directed elsewhere.

"Cameron's a superstar player, but what he relies on is good supply," Fagan said.

"The battle in the midfield is the critical battle. If he gets too many looks at it, it doesn't matter who plays on him.

"Their midfield is an A-grade midfield, there's no doubt about that."

The Lions have bolstered their midfield with the inclusion of Rhys Mathieson, who will play his first senior match since round four.

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