Voss encouraged by Lions attack - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Voss encouraged by Lions attack

By Adam Cooper 31/07/2009 05:50:45 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss believes his forward line is better-equipped to overcome Daniel Bradshaw's withdrawal from Saturday night's AFL clash against Collingwood at the MCG.

The Lions opted not to risk Bradshaw for the round-18 clash, which could go a long way to determining both sides' top-four aspirations, after he suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Fremantle in round 16.

Bradshaw was rated a chance to return after just one game on the sidelines and trained on Wednesday, but Voss said the veteran did not recover well enough after training.

His absence means the Lions will need skipper Jonathan Brown to play well the week after his eight-goal haul against North Melbourne, especially given the in-form Magpies are adept at getting numbers back to stymie opposition targets.

Voss said while Brown's individual haul against North stood out, it was evidence the Lions' attack was working better than it had in the past.

"We've had other games where we've been much more Browny-conscious, where it's been frustrating," he said on Friday.

"I do largely believe that part of the reason he was able to get his score is because everyone else in the forward line was getting used and everyone else was getting involved, and that opened space for him.

"That's how you try to get your forward line functioning.

"We know we can't rely on one particular person because if he gets shut down there's no other avenues and we certainly don't want that."

Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell, a likely candidate to get the job playing in front of Brown, said the Magpies also could not afford to focus exclusively on stopping one opponent.

"We always put a lot of work into Jonathan Brown and (St Kilda's) Nick Riewoldt and the best players in the competition," Maxwell said.

"But having said that, you put a lot of work into them and someone else bobs up, so we've got to make sure we don't focus too much on the one player."

Both sides highlighted the importance of this clash, as they, along with the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide, are all level on 11 wins and vying for a spot in the top four, which secures the double chance.

The Collingwood-Brisbane clash should also have extra needle given the history between the sides, as the Lions beat the Magpies in the 2002-03 grand finals.

The Lions will decide on Saturday who of emergencies Travis Johnstone and Jason Roe replace Bradshaw.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse suggested last week Maxwell was carrying an injury - suggested as a facial injury - but the defender said on Friday he was "fine, 100 per cent".

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