‘We took a step back’

Senior Coach Justin Longmuir conceded that there were plenty of improvements to be made from Fremantle’s 36-point loss to Gold Coast at the weekend.

The match was Freo’s first wet weather game of the season, but Longmuir said errors were made around the contest that were unrelated to the conditions.

“We didn’t get enough right in our game and we took a step back,” Longmuir told 7 News.

“We need to get back on the track and improve and try get somewhere near our best this weekend.

“I think we will be better for the outing in the wet, clearly, we didn’t look our best in the contest and our ball handling was off.

“I think the wet weather contributed a bit to our lack of threat in offence, but there were a few things that were rain-related and there are a few things that we can get right in any conditions.

“I don’t think the way we supported our backs was up to standard and we need to make sure we improve that this weekend.”

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Forward pair Matt Taberner (hamstring) and Sam Switkowski (concussion) have been listed as a test to return to the Fremantle line-up to face Collingwood on Sunday.

Longmuir said the duo will need to pull up well after Thursday’s main training to be available for selection against the Pies.

“He (Taberner) will be really close, and he was really close last week as well,” Longmuir said.

“Obviously, he needs to get through training and tick off a few final boxes, but we expect to see the big fella back.

“Switta’ has also got a few final boxes to tick with his concussion protocols, but he did a little bit of training today and seems to be in good spirits and good health.

“He is one that we would welcome back.”

Longmuir also gave the latest on skipper Nat Fyfe’s return from a back injury and said the skipper is ‘touch and go’ for Freo’s round 12 outing against Brisbane.

“We probably need a good couple of solid weeks of that contact work into him,” Longmuir said.

“He will be touch and go for the week after (the Melbourne game) and that’s been the plan all along, (a return) in the Brisbane game.

“We will welcome him back when he comes, but he is really stepping up training and looking really good now.”

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