Lions players support embattled coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions players support embattled coach

By Laine Clark 20/07/2010 06:19:49 PM Comments (0)

Standing side by side, senior Brisbane Lions players provided a very public show of support for their embattled coach Michael Voss in Brisbane on Tuesday.

But Lions skipper Jonathan Brown knew the speculation swirling around the AFL battlers would only end once they showed the same unity on the field.

"I really don't think Vossy could have done any more (to stop the rot). The players acknowledge that," Brown said.

"He has copped a bit of heat but we are all in this together.

"We are unified off the field. We just need to translate that with actions on the field.

"How we deal with this over the next six weeks will go a long way to determining how much success we have down the track."

The heat is on second-year coach Voss after early pace setters the Lions lost 11 of their past 12 games - including last weekend's "embarrassing" 75-point defeat at the hands of Hawthorn.

Eyebrows were also raised when it emerged on Tuesday that Lions chairman Tony Kelly had ordered a sweeping review of the club's football operations due to the horror trot.

But Kelly stressed Voss would not be under scrutiny and may even head the internal investigation.

In the clearest show of player support yet, the Lions leadership group of Brown, Luke Power, Daniel Merrett and Simon Black took the extraordinary step of lining up together in front of the media on Tuesday.

Brown appeared to be drawing a line in the sand when he claimed the onus was on the players, not Voss, to turn it around.

"The playing group is sticking together and not making any excuses," he said.

"We need to have that trust and respect in each other by the end of the six weeks, to know that we have each other's back out there on the field.

"We are on a journey. We need to keep building toward where we eventually want to go."

Brown said he wasn't surprised by the club review.

"I think all sides are constantly reviewing things, it's only when sides are struggling that it becomes public," he said.

"It doesn't surprise me, no different to any other club."

Constant rumours have accompanied the Lions' slide down the AFL ladder.

There had been rumblings Lions chief operating officer Dan Collins had been a source of player disharmony at the club.

And rumours have never been far from controversial recruit Brendan Fevola, ranging from him having a fight with Brown at a team barbecue, to the forward being homesick.

But Brown said: "Look at every side in the competition that is struggling and going through a rough trot.

"There is always something supposedly going on behind the scenes.

"It's just that with the side that is losing things ... get made up.

"We are not denying that no footy club goes through a season and she is all hunky dory.

"But at the end of the day ... we are a happy group. We just need to perform on the field with our actions."

It doesn't get any easier for the struggling Lions this weekend. They take on Geelong at Skilled Stadium, the AFL's toughest road trip, with Black (ankle) under an injury cloud.

But Brown saw it as a timely test of character.

"It is a great opportunity to get to play one of the great sides of all time - we relish that opportunity," he said.

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