Saints will stay focused, says Lyon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints will stay focused, says Lyon

By Roger Vaughan 27/05/2010 09:45:42 AM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon is backing the focus of his players as the AFL club deals with another problem.

The Saints are fifth with a 6-3 record despite a succession of setbacks over the last few months - Luke Ball's departure, the disastrous Andrew Lovett trade and captain Nick Riewoldt's extended absence after hamstring surgery.

Now two St Kilda players are under club investigation for alleged sexual relations with a teenaged girl, who is pregnant.

"I'd like to think we prepare and focus as we always do and give ourselves the best opportunity," Lyon said on Wednesday.

"We've faced a number of challenges, but at the end of the day, it's about us preparing and staying focussed on our primary responsibility, which is to play good football for the St Kilda members."

The Saints might have turned a corner in their season with Sunday's win at Subiaco over West Coast.

After losing three of their previous four matches, they were trailing the Eagles at halftime.

But the Saints blew away West Coast in the third term to set up a comfortable win

"We were disappointed to have lost the Essendon game (the previous week) ... but there was a lot we did right and I felt we took that into the West Coast game," Lyon said.

"When we were challenged, we really dug deep and played some of our best football for the year.

"Certainly there's some vibrancy and enthusiasm about where we're heading."

Lyon would not say it was potentially a defining win, saying that would be judged at the end of the season, but he acknowledged its importance.

"I'm always proud when the group gives really supreme effort - to go to Subiaco at any time, let alone when you're fighting for form and some key players out, it's always a challenge," he said.

"Confidence is built on actions and certainly our actions were of a very strong group mentally - it stands us in good stead."

Lyon is also wary of Saturday night's home game against Adelaide, with Tuesday's announcement from Crows captain Simon Goodwin that he will retire at the end of the season.

"Adelaide have certainly rebounded, (Andrew) McLeod was at his best and Goodwin has announced his retirement," Lyon said.

"(Jason) Porplyzia and those sorts of guys have found form, so it's going to be a real challenge, but one we're excited about.

"We're 6-3, we're right in the mix and we have every opportunity to progress, push forward."

After the Eagles win, Lyon predicted Riewoldt would one day coach the club.

More immediately, the key forward is delighting the Saints with how well he is recovering from his hamstring tendon surgery.

"He's running at the higher end, not 100 per cent, but he's certainly doing a lot of quality work," Lyon said.

"It's been pleasantly surprising ... we've had really good reports off the surgeon.

"We're really, really optimistic that Nick will be back in the latter third of the season.

"We're keen not to put a round on it but we're obviously very, very optimistic that he'll come back and play a part at the right time - if he doesn't, that's the way it goes."

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