Craig won't be zoning out - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Craig won't be zoning out

By Daniel Brettig 09/04/2010 09:57:56 AM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig denies his side's zone and rebound playbook has been irrevocably dismantled by opposition AFL clubs.

Instead, Craig says the holes being picked in his side's zones in the first two rounds by Fremantle and Sydney were there due to shoddy execution rather than improved opposition planning.

Craig's methods are unchanging, something noted by Swans coach Paul Roos during his side's drought-breaking win over the Crows at AAMI Stadium on Sunday.

But Craig insists they are sturdy enough to deliver a top four finish provided he can get his side into a reasonable state of fitness and form in time - starting against Melbourne at the MCG.

"I deny that, I don't believe that," he said of the view that other sides had worked out how to play through Adelaide.

"With some of our work at the moment there are holes in the zones, but I guess I'm really just falling back on what I saw last year and where we can get to with that.

"I don't accept that assessment, but that's fine, everyone has an opinion."

Swans small forward Ben McGlynn kicked five goals last week, four of them after he crept behind the zone and benefited from swift movement through it, something Craig said was happening more often to all clubs.

"A trend in the AFL at the moment is those goals you get out the back, those walk-on goals seem to be happening," he said.

"That's not trying to deflect some of our problems, but it looks like maybe the offence is getting pretty good.

"So those goals that your players hate and your supporters hate because it looks so easy - like `who's on him?' - it looks like it is a bit of a trend in the AFL at the moment.

"But our problems are a bit deeper than that."

Former skipper Mark Ricciuto has suggested Adelaide try a simpler style until they get more players into form, but Craig politely disagreed.

"We'll make some changes but they won't be major changes, because I believe if we get back to where we were last year and better, it will be good enough," said Craig.

"I think what Mark was suggesting just for a period of time while we get new players coming in, to maybe abandon that plan. I don't hold that opinion.

"So some small changes, some tweaking? Yes. Some major changes? No."

Adelaide's adherence to the zone defence has, in Craig's view, been poor.

"We need to get better up in front of what's going on, and that's where we're spending a lot of our concentration on," he said.

"Sometimes you don't have to get hold of it upfield, sometimes you don't even have to touch it, you've just got to cause an error, or a bit of hesitancy.

"The ones that get through quickly and they go bang, bang, bang and the guy's out and you can't put a hand on it - if it's your team doing it, it is fantastic to watch."

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