Harvey confused over Bailey axing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harvey confused over Bailey axing

Justin Chadwick 03/08/2011 06:44:48 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey believes there was little sense in Melbourne's sacking of Dean Bailey, claiming the former Demons coach should have been allowed to see out his AFL contract.

Bailey was fired on Sunday, effective immediately, following Melbourne's embarrassing 186-point defeat to Geelong last week.

Harvey, who played alongside Bailey during their time at Essendon, said the practice of axing a coach mid-season made no sense to him, especially if that team was still in the finals hunt.

The Demons currently sit 11th on the table - six points adrift of eighth-placed Fremantle with five rounds remaining.

"I'm not sure what that's going to do for the short-term, if you call it a remedy," Harvey said when asked about Bailey's sacking.

"I don't think there's any sense in sacking coaches mid-year or towards the end of the year.

"I like to think that a contract's a contract.

"The strange thing is they may well play in finals.

"It's not as if they were sitting in the bottom four.

"You can talk about the margin the previous week, but all coaches go through losing by big margins. I don't think that should be the reason why it (getting sacked) gets hurried up."

Meanwhile, the Dockers will be aiming to bolster their own top-eight hopes with a win over in-form St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

The Dockers will enter the clash without Matt de Boer (knee) and Rhys Palmer (ankle), while ruckman Jonathon Griffin remains in doubt with a hip injury.

Defender Luke McPharlin returns from suspension, but Harvey denied Aaron Sandilands had suffered a setback in his recovery from a toe injury despite the ruckman being at least another week away from resuming.

"It's probably taken a little bit more time (but) there's been nothing (to worry about) other than making sure he's right," Harvey said.

"He's running. I reckon I'll have a lot better gauge next week. I'd like to think somewhere near next week he'llbe playing.

"I've been saying that for the last couple of weeks, but as we know it's a reoccurring injury."

The seventh-placed Saints are hot favourites to beat the Dockers after resurrecting their season with five straight wins.

"Everyone forgets, they've been a great team for four to five years under Ross (Lyon's) reign," Harvey said of St Kilda, who welcome back skipper Nick Riewoldt but will be without suspended defender Zac Dawson.

"Defensively they're arguably still one of the best, or they are.

"They've lost (Lenny) Hayes and just recently they've lost (James) Gwilt. (Michael) Gardiner hasn't been there most of the year, but apart from that the availability has been there for them.

"The little forwards are kicking a lot of goals, whether it's (Adam) Schneider, whether it's (Brett) Peake, (Leigh) Montagna and these guys.

"Their midfielders can kick goals as well. They've got good avenues.

"I think probably from a defensive point of view we've probably got our best available defence at the moment, so it's a pretty good challenge for those guys down there."

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