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Sticking to a simple mantra

Rd11 Post-match: Fagan Watch Brisbane's press conference after round 11's match against Hawthorn.

Brisbane might be inching closer to a first finals appearance in 10 years, but coach Chris Fagan is treading cautiously ahead of a crucial next month.

The Lions will finish round 11 either fourth or fifth with a 7-4 record after Saturday night's rousing 19-point victory over Hawthorn.

While Fagan wants his team to aim high, he says they'll stick to a simple mantra that has given the Lions their best launch pad since last making the finals in 2009.

"I can't control the expectations," Fagan said. 

"People will no doubt talk us up, but we'll just stick with the week-to-week approach we've had all year."

In the next month Brisbane plays Carlton at Marvel Stadium, has a bye, then plays St Kilda at Marvel Stadium before finally returning to the Gabba to host Melbourne. 

In all three matches they are likely to start favourite.

"We play Carlton next week and everyone will say "you should win that game".

"If you have a look a quarters won, Carlton are nowhere near the worst team in terms of quarters won, they're a pretty competitive unit and played some great footy against the Dogs not so long ago. 

"We'll approach that game with tremendous respect for them. 

"We won't take any game we play for granted because we're not that good."

Fagan said his players were level-headed and only concerned with improving each week.

He praised the efforts of defensive duo Harris Andrews and Darcy Gardiner – who kept Jack Gunston goal-less – in the come-from-behind victory.

After falling apart late against Fremantle just six days earlier, Fagan was delighted with Brisbane's ability to pour on the power late against the Hawks.

"It was pretty gutsy stuff by our blokes.

"It got tight again in the last quarter and for us, from a learning perspective, we handled the last five minutes of the game so much better than we handled the last five minutes of the last two weeks.

"It's good evidence that our blokes are good learners.

"We were able to maintain possession and when we couldn't we got it to stoppage.

"Guys just made good decisions with the footy, everyone played their role, no-one tried to be a hero.

"That was what was good about tonight."

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