Contender talk premature: Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Contender talk premature: Harvey

Justin Chadwick 26/04/2011 06:18:07 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has quickly hosed down suggestions his team are the prime challengers to Collingwood's AFL throne.

The Dockers (4-1) enhanced their top-four credentials with a thrilling seven-point victory over fellow heavyweights the Western Bulldogs in Perth on Monday night.

Fremantle boast one of the most exciting player lists in the competition, with their even spread of match-winners - made up of talented youngsters and battle-hardened veterans - making them one of the hardest teams to match up on.

But Harvey said there were still several key areas the Dockers needed to improve before they could consistently match it with the competition's best, adding that any comparisons to Collingwood were premature.

"We're not there yet, no," Harvey said.

"We're sort of aiming and working hard towards it.

"We just need to keep progressing with what we're confronted with."

The Dockers have the perfect chance to cement their place in the top four over the coming month, with this week's bye followed by winnable games against Richmond (away), West Coast and Port Adelaide (away).

"There'll be sides that we play over the coming weeks that everyone will expect us to win," said Harvey.

"But that's not the case, we understand that we have to make sure that we're diligent with what we do with our planning and the way we play.

"We probably need to at times move the ball better...and exploit teams when we need to."

After watching several of his key players succumb to injury this season, Harvey said nothing could be taken for granted.

"There's no sense in getting carried away with where you're at because we understand that ... you're only an injury or two away from perhaps (not) winning those close ones," he said.

Defender Greg Broughton, who was a late withdrawal against the Dogs due to a back injury, is expected to return after the bye.

The Dockers led the Bulldogs by 20 points early in the final quarter but Harvey watched on in horror as the visitors slammed on four quick goals to snatch a seven-point lead.

However, Fremantle regained their composure in the frantic final few minutes, with goals to Kepler Bradley and Nick Lower sealing the 12.13 (85) to 11.12 (78) win.

"Our guys probably now really understand how to fight through difficult times and then win, particularly when the pressure's on," Harvey said.

Bradley and unheralded tagger Jay van Berlo finished with four goals apiece, while Matthew Pavlich, David Mundy and Nat Fyfe were prolific through the midfield.

Defender Luke McPharlin kept Barry Hall goalless, while ruckman Aaron Sandilands amassed 53 hit-outs.

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