Leo Barry beefs up Sydney's defence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Leo Barry beefs up Sydney's defence

By Adrian Warren 22/08/2008 07:05:00 PM Comments (0)

Veteran Sydney fullback Leo Barry intends playing again next season but says all the members of the struggling Swans are on notice about the unacceptable level of their current AFL form.

With two rounds remaining, the sixth-placed Swans are limping towards the finals, having lost five of their past seven games.

The Swans welcomes back defensive lynch pin Barry for Saturday's crucial clash with Collingwood at Telstra Dome after he missed their past four fixtures with a hamstring niggle.

Sydney has conceded over 100 points in four of the past five games and Barry stressed the importance of the Swans rediscovering their defensive intensity.

"Over the last seven weeks we've conceded more points than nearly anyone in the comp, so I think the defensive group needs to really improve, but also collectively we need to really be doing a lot of pressure through our midfield so the ball is not getting delivered through," Barry said.

"We are under no illusion that defensively some players have been struggling," Barry said.

"That is going to be a huge area for us tomorrow night and if we are any chance of winning the game, our defensive group really has to stand up.

"It's been a problem all year, lapses in concentration. Teams have been able to score very heavily in ten-minute periods as were shown last week against Geelong."

Barry, 31, said he felt rejuvenated following his injury and had told the club he wanted to play on for a least one more year.

"I will look to play next year, I still feel really good in my body," Barry said.

One of several veterans, Barry was diplomatic when asked if Sydney needed to make wholesale changes to the roster.

"I think we are at a delicate stage. We have played a lot of young guys and got a few more games into them," Barry said.

"A lot of our senior guys, in some respects more, are key position players, so it will be an interesting transition.

"That will be resolved at the end of the season, but all we're focused on is the next couple of weeks and the finals campaign and the rest will look after itself."

Asked whether some players had a point to prove in pursuit of contract renewal, Barry said "collectively we've definitely got a point to prove regardless of whether you are out of contract or you're old or you're young.

"I think everyone is sort of on notice at the moment. The way that we have been playing is unacceptable and not up to the standard we really require of each player.

Barry said Sydney probably didn't deserve to playing in the finals unless they won their last two games against the Magpies and Brisbane.

The Magpies, who are one place and two points below the Swans, have won their past five clashes against Sydney.

"I think it will really be determined on whether we turn up to play or not, that will be the biggest factor on the result".

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