Crows 'played top footy against Freo' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows 'played top footy against Freo'

By Daniel Brettig 02/04/2010 06:18:00 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide reached the standard required to be an AFL force in 2010 during the round one loss to Fremantle but they simply failed to maintain it for anywhere near long enough.

So says Crows coach Neil Craig, as he continues to place lofty expectations on his team despite a raft of early season problems related to injury and, it seems, attitude.

A 56-point beating by the Dockers meant that for the second time in five games, the Crows' competitiveness and willingness to fight things out was open to question - they also suffered a hefty defeat to Port Adelaide in round one of the pre-season cup.

Craig said his players knew full well that they had to be able to sustain their effort for longer if they wished to be a top four contender this year, a goal he remains happy to bandy about.

"All AFL players have a huge sense of pride in their performance, in the end they know whether it is up to scratch or not," he said.

"Certainly our guys will put their hand up and say that's nowhere near the level.

"Particularly if we talk about high expectations, and we still have those, as in wanting to challenge for the top four.

"That's been there since pre-season but now we get judged on, well, there's your performance on the weekend, is that going to stack up to where you want to go?

"And clearly not, that performance on the weekend, while there was exceptional footy in there, in terms of the duration of the game, that's not going to get us where we want to go."

It is ironic that a team famous for training so hard and so thoroughly would now start to put in performances that show an inability to sustain effort and focus.

Craig was understandably eager to stamp out this trend soon, starting with Sunday's match against Sydney.

"The duration of our effort (is crucial), I go back to the Fremantle game, I thought the standard of football in the first quarter from both teams was very high," said Craig.

"It was quick, it was competitive and a great game of footy. I don't think Fremantle changed too much but I thought our standard dropped off to a low level.

"The level of football I've seen in round one, the best of it, is good enough. I like the level. The duration of it was poor. So that's our challenge.

"That's better than saying I haven't seen anything.

"The signs are good there, but we're nowhere near the level that we want to be and we need to be to meet the expectation we've put out into the public arena."

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