Tigers can turn things around: Tambling - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers can turn things around: Tambling

22/04/2010 07:00:39 PM Comments (0)

Richmond midfielder Richard Tambling is confident there is light at the end of the tunnel for long-suffering Tigers supporters despite what appears a nine-goal gap between them and everybody else in the AFL.

Tambling, 23, is now a virtual veteran on a rebuilding list as he prepares for his 100th AFL match against Fremantle in Perth on Sunday.

The Tigers haven't managed to get within 55 points of an opponent in their opening four matches, and things don't look likely to improve against a Fremantle side which has kicked off the season impressively.

But Tambling said Richmond were trying to address the fade-outs which were costing them, believing the Tigers were proving competitive for three quarters but letting opponents score heavily in short bursts.

"Week by week we play three good quarters and then it's a five or 10-minute period we fade and teams score heavily against us," Tambling said.

"But we're still improving. There's improvement around the team, we're setting winning attitudes on an off the field and we're looking forward to the next couple of games and next 12 months."

Few players have had their first 100 matches as heavily scrutinised as Tambling - the man taken just prior to Hawthorn star Lance Franklin in the 2004 draft.

While Franklin dominated matches in his first few seasons, Tambling was serviceable at best.

But for the first time last year, the table appeared to turn - Tambling putting in a late-season stretch of excellent performances as Franklin struggled.

While Tambling admits the comparisons have been difficult, he is confident he has emerged a stronger player for it.

"It was a bit tough the first couple of years but I've come out the other side a better person and hopefully a better football player," Tambling said.

"The comparisons with Lance Franklin - not many people come out and do what he did the first couple of years.

"There's definitely a lot of pressure on a young 18-year-old to come out of school and set the world on fire, which Buddy did."

Richmond have recalled vice-captain Nathan Foley for his first match since round 14 last year after the key midfielder overcame a longstanding ankle injury.

The Tigers were also strengthened by the return of skipper Chris Newman from a hamstring complaint, while Ben Cousins, Luke McGuane and Dean Polo came straight back into the squad to play Fremantle.

The trio were suspended for last weekend's loss to Melbourne for disciplinary reasons.

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