Swans ready for top four win over Carlton - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans ready for top four win over Carlton

By Rob Forsaith 13/06/2011 03:14:43 PM Comments (0)

Sydney midfielder Dan Hannebery believes the Swans are well placed to claim a breakthrough win over one of the AFL's top four teams on Sunday when they clash with Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

The Swans are fifth on the ladder, two points shy of fourth-placed Hawthorn but victories over top-quality opposition have proven elusive in 2011.

Sydney's three losses for the season have come against pacesetters Geelong, Carlton and the Hawks.

John Longmire's side faces the Blues this weekend in a match which Hannebery admitted could show them up to be pretenders or contenders.

It will be a rematch of the two sides' round-six fixture, which Carlton claimed in heavy rain, and Hannebery was confident his team had come a long way since that 16-point loss.

"We've definitely improved since then. I think we're moving the ball better, we're playing better as a team - Sammy Reid was sensational yesterday even though he didn't kick that well," Hannebery said on Monday.

"We've developed younger guys more and I think, as a team, we're playing really good footy, so it's a really good opportunity for us now to really kick start our season and really take it up to the top four sides.

"(We have to) believe in ourselves, that we are good enough to beat those sides, and I think we are.

"I reckon we're a good chance this week."

The Swans are facing a potentially season-defining fortnight of football against Carlton and then premiers Collingwood.

Hannebery suggested it would be a "huge test" for the Swans.

"Obviously, we're solely focused on this week with Carlton. They're third on the ladder now and it's a real test for us against a top-four side," he said.

"It's really important for us to now take that next step, (because) I think we've cemented our spot in the eight.

"It's massive for our season and massive for the footy club this year to really take it up to Carlton.

"It will show this weekend whether we've really improved, if we can come up against a top four side and come away with a win."

Hannebery said the club was yet to discuss top-four aspirations, but believed they were in a better position than the same time last year.

Ruckman Shane Mumford ran well on Monday morning and is expected to be fit for this weekend after missing the Swans' last three matches with a knee injury.

Longmire indicated on Sunday he would bring Mumford straight back into the side.

It remains to be seen whether Longmire will again buck the trend and name a ruckman as the side's substitute, as he did with Mark Seaby in the round-one draw with Melbourne.

Longmire eased Kieren Jack back into the rigours of AFL by using him as the substitute in Sunday's win over Richmond.

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