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Dockers not feeling the pressure

Justin Chadwick 11/07/2011 06:59:12 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle defender Garrick Ibbotson insists the club isn't feeling the pressure of holding on to their top-eight spot despite a host of their AFL rivals making a late run for the finals.

The Dockers, who had the bye last weekend, sit seventh, still four points clear of the ninth-placed Western Bulldogs and six ahead of St Kilda and Melbourne.

However, with the Bulldogs, Saints and Essendon returning to form and Fremantle facing one of the toughest runs home, many pundits have questioned whether the injury-hit Dockers will be able to hang in the top eight.

But, ahead of the daunting clash with Sydney at the SCG on Sunday, Ibbotson brushed off suggestions the pressure could get to the Dockers.

"I don't really think about other teams and where they're at and if they're coming after us in the eight or not," Ibbotson said on Monday.

"If they're playing good footy, then it just means we have to play good footy as well.

"There's no real extra pressure that goes with other sides playing well.

"We started really well and then we haven't been playing the footy we would have liked towards the second half of the first half of the season.

"But I think we've still got a really good side that's going to be out on the park each week and I have complete faith that we can beat any side that we play."

Fremantle remain hopeful of regaining the services of star midfielder Michael Barlow against the Swans.

Defender Nick Suban is expected to resume in the WAFL this weekend after overcoming a broken leg, while Adam McPhee (knee) could join him.

Ruckman Aaron Sandilands (toe) and midfielder David Mundy (leg) are still several weeks away but Ibbotson said it was nice to know the squad would be bolstered in the run home.

"We have got a lot of guys in our team who are quite young still so to have guys like Aaron Sandilands and David Mundy and those sort of guys back on the park would be fantastic for us," he said.

"It is important for any team to have their best players on the park but for us, it's just whoever's going to be there at the time has to play really well."

Sydney, who are two points ahead of the Dockers in sixth spot, will be looking to gain a slice of revenge after suffering a shock 37-point defeat on home turf in round nine last year.

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