Swans ignore side issues ahead of AFL semi - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans ignore side issues ahead of AFL semi

Sam Lienert 15/09/2011 06:21:01 PM Comments (0)

Sydney don't expect Adam Goodes' 300th game to be an inspiration, Lance Franklin's uncertain status to be a distraction or a poor MCG record to be a problem.

Ahead of Friday night's AFL semi-final against Hawthorn, all Swans coach John Longmire was concerned about was whether his team could continue their recent trend of winning the contested ball and pressuring the opposition.

Longmire said regardless of whether or not star Hawks forward Franklin overcame a knee injury to play, the game would be won or lost in the midfield.

"We've been pleased with our intensity that we've been able to bring and our pressure game, that's really important to us," Longmire said, as his team trained at the MCG on Thursday.

"That's what we've got to make sure we try to replicate out here again tomorrow.

"Hawthorn obviously will be looking to do that as well, they've got some champion players running around that have publicly said they're going to be concentrating on contested footy.

"So that's an area that we need to be aware of and make sure we're strong at."

The Swans have won just one of their past 13 games at the MCG, with their most recent visit a big loss to Richmond a month ago.

But Longmire said while they had played poorly at the AFL's premier venue in the past, there was no reason why the style that has delivered two wins over St Kilda and one over Geelong since then, would not convert to the MCG.

"Regardless of what ground we play, we've got to make sure we bring our hard, contested trademark footy," he said.

Longmire said Goodes joining Michael O'Loughlin as just the second 300-gamer in the club's history was a magnificent achievement, particularly as the 31-year-old remains the club's best player and best athlete.

But the coach said Goodes did not want his milestone to be a major focus and nor did the club.

Longmire said consistency of approach and endeavour was more important than an emotional lift for an individual.

"We don't use (emotion) as much, we look at what makes us a good team," he said.

"Internally we just look at the fact of making sure we bring our trademark pressure football and that's what we try to replicate week in, week out."

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