Swans have hit a 'speed hump': O'Keefe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans have hit a 'speed hump': O'Keefe

By Nicky Park 30/07/2008 05:37:40 PM Comments (0)

Sydney forward Ryan O'Keefe says the Swans are craving consistency - both in their starting line-up and on-field displays - and must lift if they are to overcome the "speed hump" they have hit this AFL season.

The Swans have 10 wins, six losses and a draw but significantly their losses have come against finals contenders Geelong, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Adelaide.

O'Keefe said the lack of a settled team was taking its toll.

"We've probably been very used to consistency as a forward line and as a team in general and this year we've had as many changes as I can remember," he told reporters at the SCG.

"(We need) to find that balance ... and get the mix gelling to work in cohesion."

The Swans have been plagued with injuries, with Adam Goodes, Michael O'Loughlin, Leo Barry and Henry Playfair among those currently sidelined.

Gun forward Barry Hall's seven-match suspension and subsequent two-game club-imposed ban further unsettled the side.

But despite Hall being held to one goal on return last Saturday, O'Keefe said he should not be written off.

"He was put under the microscope a bit (last week) and everyone was waiting to see what he was going to do," he said.

"He's a great player so I think if you're going to count him out now you'll put a bit of egg on your face.

"I suggest he's going to play a really good game (this week)."

Likewise, O'Keefe was confident the Swans would emerge from their rough patch.

"When you go through a bit of adversity it galvanises the team and I think this is just one of those things," he said.

"We've come into a bit of a speed hump but we're just going to have to work through it and I think we'll come out better."

O'Keefe also said the Swans' kicking accuracy was letting them down.

They kicked 6.17, including hitting the post six times, in Saturday's loss to Adelaide at the SCG.

"It's probably been our problem all year - getting our goal kicking accuracy up," he said.

"It has cost us games and come the real tight ones which the finals will be it's going to be very important to kick them.

"(We've got to) get our accuracy right and put on a bit of score board pressure."

Despite their latest string of losses, the Swans have managed to hang on to their top four position.

"We're probably in the top four at the moment by default ... everyone around us (top-four contenders Collingwood, Brisbane and St Kilda) is falling over as well," O'Keefe said.

"If we're really going to be a genuine contender we've got to make sure we put some authority on this season and win some of these big games.

"As a club over the last month everyone's been down a bit.

"Everyone ... really has to lift their game and step up and be accountable."

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