Lions coach Voss backs Fevola - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions coach Voss backs Fevola

By Darren Cartwright 30/07/2010 01:42:51 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Michael Voss wants the criticism of his controversial spearhead Brendan Fevola to cease after his on-field behaviour and body language were again brought into question.

Speaking on the eve of the Lions clash with Melbourne at the Gabba, Voss said Fevola was part of a team and should not be continually the focus of questions or media critique.

"It's time to draw a line in the sand and say Fev is part of the team and stop singling him out," Voss said.

"I understand there is a focus on him, but he's part of the group."

Voss's reaction drew attention away from the Lions' clash with Melbourne at the Gabba which is also midfielder Xavier Clarke's first senior game since injuring a knee in late 2008 playing for former club St Kilda.

The Lions picked up Clarke in last year's national draft.

He has been among the best in the Lions reserves for the past two matches and adds pace and agility which will be in great demand against a rising youthful Demons side.

Voss said he has been closely monitoring Clarke in recent weeks and has been pleased with his endeavour and skill levels, indicating he was ready for a senior return.

"When I watched him train the last couple of weeks he has been training really well," Voss said.

"His organisation and knowing what needs to be done out there is really good.

"We needed an extra ball user and he was it."

Melbourne's improved and slick movement of the ball caused Voss some angst when he was selecting the team and he said it was the reason that another former Saint, defender Matt Maguire, was overlooked.

"They have the ability to run the ball quickly and they like to create space for themselves," Voss said.

With the Lions out of finals contention, Voss has ruled out key defender Josh Drummond making a return from a knee injury this year despite being on track to play a couple of games in the dying weeks of the season.

"It's a risk-reward thing," Voss said.

"He's doing quite well but to play him for one or two games is not really worth it."

The 11th-placed Demons, who are still an outside chance of qualifying for the finals, welcome back skipper James McDonald from injury.

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