Bradshaw set to stay up front for Lions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bradshaw set to stay up front for Lions

By Jim Morton and Laine Clark 10/06/2009 04:29:58 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane is expected to resist the temptation to beef up their injury-depleted defence against twin Hawthorn dangers Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead by leaving Daniel Bradshaw in the attacking goalsquare.

Full-forward Bradshaw was deployed at the opposite end of the Gabba for much of last weekend's six-point loss to Carlton to contain red-hot Blues star Brendan Fevola.

With key Lions defenders Daniel Merrett and Joel Patfull injured, the versatile big man was twice switched as Fevola bagged eight goals to ensure Carlton held on against a fast-finishing Brisbane.

Fullback Merrett is holding faint hopes of returning from an ankle injury to play the Hawks in Launceston on Sunday but even if he makes a remarkable recovery the Lions must combat both Franklin and Roughead.

Taking the philosophy the best way to defend is to attack, coach Michael Voss has indicated Brisbane would be best served keeping swingman Bradshaw in attack with skipper Jonathan Brown.

Voss attributed Fevola's haul to a breakdown in his team's defensive mechanisms rather than the Blues spearhead's brilliance.

"What it showed was if we can get our defensive mechanisms in order then we'd like to think we can get Braddy up the other end and kick goals for us," he said.

"For us to kick a score and kick a winning score we look a lot better when Braddy is (in attack)."

Brown, who kicked a wayward 4.5 against Carlton, certainly wants Bradshaw to be next to him as a forward target.

"He is a gun forward and I think he did a reasonable job at the back last week but certainly we have a more potent forward line if he is in there," Brown said.

"I understand we don't want to let too many goals through so if he has to go back he has to go back.

"But at the same time you don't want to be messing with your structures too much, and our best structure is with Braddy in the forward line."

Bradshaw's presence in attack also ensures the in-form Jared Brennan can be more influential in the midfield than up forward.

"When you start to lose players in one area then you have to rob Peter to pay Paul and unfortunately we were robbing too many people and couldn't pay anyone," said Voss, who is also without rebounding defender Josh Drummond.

Voss said on Monday he wasn't anticipating vice-captain Merrett to be available and played down the merits of risking him by rushing him back to mark Franklin when the Lions have their mid-season bye the following weekend.

Merrett's moment of truth comes on Thursday when he must train strongly to be included in the 25-man squad.

"We won't take a risk this time of the season," Voss said.

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