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Fagan: Can't ignore form

Fagan: Every game is important Chris Fagan spoke to media before Round 11 against the Hawthorn Hawks.

Chris Fagan doesn't want to hear anything about Brisbane's two wins over Hawthorn last year. 

That was then, this is now, the Lions coach said on Friday morning.

The teams square off on Saturday night at the Gabba in a crucial mid-season contest that will help to shape the top eight for the next few weeks at least, and possibly deeper into the season.

Brisbane outgunned the Hawks by 56 and 33 points respectively last season, but it means nothing to Fagan. 

"It's a completely different situation," he said.

"The last time we played was in Tassie, if you look at their team now and look at our team now there's about seven or eight different players in each, so it's a little hard to get a read on us versus them.

"It's irrelevant and we've all got to start again tomorrow, and it will be a red-hot game because there's a fair bit at stake for both of us."

Fagan is right, Brisbane has just 13 players selected from the round 17 team, while Hawthorn will run out with 14.

The Lions have made four changes, resting Oscar McInerney, losing Ryan Lester to injury and dropping Josh Walker and Mitch Hinge. 

They've recalled ruckman Archie Smith, Rhys Mathieson, Nick Robertson and Ben Keays.

"There's an element of the big trip to Perth (against Fremantle last Sunday) and having some fresh players come into the team, and you just can't keep ignoring form," Fagan said.

"We just thought some of the guys were a little bit out of form last week and some other lads were going well, so let's give them an opportunity."

Fagan said successive one-point games – a win over Adelaide and a loss to the Dockers – was invaluable for Brisbane.

"It seems like we chase better than when we've got a lead," he said.

"That's all part of learning. We haven't been in front in those games for a long, long time so you've got to learn how to play them.

"Those opportunities we've had the last two weeks have been tremendous learning opportunities for us."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs