Coach of the Brisbane Lions, Chris Fagan, has sent out a subdued warning….

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has issued a veiled warning that last year’s grand finalists are coming hard for another tilt declaring the “stats don’t lie” and all the numbers indicate his team is a legitimate premiership threat.

While he conceded the Lions were “in a bit of trouble” after winning just two of the opening seven games, with four wins in a row and a move in to the top eight Fagan said the continued belief from his players was fuelling another run to the finals.Brisbane Lions roar from behind to overcome Carlton and reach AFL grand  final | AFL | The Guardian

Ahead of a second clash with Adelaide for the season, Fagan said the round 10 draw with the Crows was a “turning point” for his team which has only lost one of six games since, buoyed also by continued player re-signings with Charlie Cameron and Jarrod Berry the latest to commit their future to the club.

“We looked like we were in a bit of trouble at two and five after we got beaten by the Giants,” Fagan said on Thursday.

“So yeah, it was an important draw because the week before we had beaten the Gold Coast, but we’d lost I think three or four players from that team going into the Adelaide game. So there’s a bit of disruption in the team.

“We played a lot of young blokes that night and to come away with at least a couple of points was a little bit of a confidence builder. If you look at our performance, pretty much since the first three games, I think if you do a ladder from round four onwards, you might find that we’re second. Our performance has been pretty good.”

Fagan said the key to the turnaround was players refusing to buckle when things weren’t going right early in the season, including that 54-point loss to the Giants in round 8, when questions were asked about Brisbane’s premiership credentials.

He said all the internal markers suggested things weren’t as bad as it seemed, and while they have changed some things, sticking to what worked so well in 2023 has paid off.

“The stats don’t lie I guess, I mean if the stats had been telling another story we would have definitely changed the way we were going about things,” he said.

“But that’s not what they were telling us, so the hard part then is to hold your nerve when everybody else is saying the team’s going no good and to keep the boys believing.

“So credit to the lads, they understood what the numbers meant and just continued on with our normal process.

“We do change things from time to time, it’s not like we’ve been doing the same thing for five years, we do change it up a bit.

“But It’s more of a reflection of how mature the group is that they understood what needed to happen in that situation and we’ve been able to see it through so far.”

Despite moving back in to the top eight, Fagan said he was conscious of not looking at the ladder in what has been one of the tightest AFL seasons in recent memory.

“You look at the ladder, it’s so close, you can just go up and down five or six spots,” he said.

“You can do your head in, so you’ve just got to make sure you stay focused on the game in hand and know if you do your bit, then whatever happens with the other results happens. The good thing for us is we’ve clawed our way back into the season.

“We’re now back in the hunt, so we know that. We just want to try and keep going now.”

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