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Lions 'mentally tough enough' for finals

By Laine Clark 30/06/2009 04:47:36 PM Comments (0)

This time last year the Brisbane Lions were sitting pretty on the AFL ladder - and still missed the finals.

In 2009, Brisbane again boast an impressive 8-5 record after round 13 to sit just outside the top four on percentage.

But Lions vice-captain Jed Adcock has ruled out another freefall after the team came to a sobering realisation.

"We weren't mentally tough enough last year," Adcock said in Brisbane on Tuesday.

"We had a lot of games that we should have won and we lost.

"Our main goal this year is to play finals footy and we know what we have got to do to do it."

The Lions won only two of their last nine games in 2008 to finish two victories outside the top eight - despite nudging the top four after round 13.

It marked the fourth straight season the Lions failed to make the finals - a run that started after their 2004 grand final defeat.

The Lions have moved to fifth on the 2009 ladder with six wins in their last eight games ahead of Saturday's away clash with Port Adelaide.

Adcock said the Lions were now finally ready for finals footy.

"I think so. We are more prepared to play finals," he said.

"The whole group has matured a lot and realised the game is never over - we have grown as people and as a team."

Not that the Lions still don't have their moments.

The 93-point round five shellacking in Geelong was one.

And surprisingly, the Lions regarded their 55-point thumping of Melbourne last Saturday night as another.

"On the weekend we probably showed a sign of that (lack of mental toughness)," Adcock said.

"We were maybe getting ahead of ourselves a bit. If we do that against Port we will lose easily.

"The thing we are still working on is chemistry. It's there for a few weeks but like last weekend it doesn't connect quite well - but hopefully we can bring it back this weekend."

Adcock added the Lions were still heeding the lessons learned from the Geelong loss.

"It was pretty embarrassing. We lost a lot of respect amongst the footy public and ourselves as well," he said.

"To go down there and think we are a half-decent chance and to lose like that was a wake-up call.

"We have come back and looked at the way things should be done and realised we have a lot of work to do.

"To go back and play the way we want and not let others dictate to us has probably worked.

"And we have got to start playing four-quarter games, if we don't we are not going to go far in finals."

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