Freo coach wary of hurt Lloyd - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Freo coach wary of hurt Lloyd

By Justin Chadwick 01/04/2009 08:53:20 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle are bracing themselves for a backlash from Essendon superstar Matthew Lloyd at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Lloyd received widespread criticism for his goalless performance in the Bombers' 41-point AFL loss to Port Adelaide last week.

But Harvey, who was an assistant coach at Essendon when Lloyd was the premier full-forward in the competition, predicted the 30-year-old veteran would prove the doubters wrong and come out firing against the Dockers.

"I guess when these guys have been the superstars of the competition there's a standard everyone expects them to reach every time they play," Fremantle coach Mark Harvey said on Wednesday.

"I've had a lot to do with Matthew over my time as a coach and let's face it, he's kicked something like 900 goals.

"That's a fantastic effort and I know how proud he is and once again he's that type of player that rebounds quite quickly from a disappointing game, so we are going to have to be on guard with him.

"It's dangerous with Matthew. He doesn't take that into consideration too much, the criticism. He just goes about his business.

"He's got a self belief about what he does. That's how he handles it.

"He's a captain of his club, same as (Matthew) Pavlich, and they take it in their stride and move on quickly.

"They don't carry the burden of playing what is perceived as an ordinary game."

The Dockers will be bolstered by the return of former Bomber Dean Solomon, who has completed an eight-week ban for his brutal elbow on Geelong's Cameron Ling last year.

The club was forced to counsel Solomon after the hit but Harvey said they had not asked the 29-year-old to change his trademark aggression.

"I don't think you can take away the way he plays naturally," Harvey said.

"You just need to curb the reaction sometimes if he gets into trouble.

"I think he's learnt his lesson. It's a split-second moment where sometimes you can just falter.

"I think Dean's come to terms with where the game's at.

"I can't guarantee he won't get himself into some sort of conflict in the way he plays, but his natural aggression is important.

"Initially we did (have to counsel him), we had to go through that because it was a big case.

"He was remorseful ... but time's moved on and so has he.

"At his age, he just wants to get out there and play now."

Harvey said defender Roger Hayden, who was a late withdrawal from last week's 63-point loss to the Bulldogs due to a hamstring injury, was unlikely to face the Bombers.

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