Pyke: no quick fix for woes of Crows
CROWS coach Don Pyke expects his well-drilled players – and not a flash of game-day novelty from his assistant coaches – to deal with the onfield crises that have overwhelmed Adelaide in the past fortnight.
“There’s no magic cure,” Pyke insists as Crows fans – and pundits – take issue with his match-day coaching.
Criticised for not reacting in the box as North Melbourne and Melbourne have put on damaging scoring runs against the Crows in the past week, Pyke insists the tactics to stop opposition momentum swings are already in place.
It is up to his players to work them.
And that all comes down to attitude, in particular for contested football – a theme hammered at training this week to bring change in tonight’s clash with last-ranked Brisbane at the Gabba.
“This is about rolling up our sleeves up and getting back to the things we were doing early in the season,” Pyke said. “It is a focus around contested ball and the level we set early in they year got us a result.
“We had that in the first six weeks. We have got to make sure we return to that and bring that on Saturday night.”
Top-ranked Adelaide (6-2) has been admired this season particularly against Hawthorn in round two and Richmond in round six - for adjusting at the breaks when Pyke has clearly put the focus on contested football.
But the question lingers as to what is happening when there is no time-out to make the players work to new themes. Pyke insists those tactics will be driven by the players working to a game plan drilled during the week.
“We have some plays in place for that situation,” Pyke said. “The first thing is always to back your players in. I’m going to back my players in to be able to turn that around.
“In the first six weeks they were able to do that ... the last couple they have not.
“And a lot of that stems from our ability to compete around the ball – and compete consistently. And then our workrate from there. There is no magic cure in that space.”
Adelaide went to Brisbane with a 23-man squad, keeping veteran David Mackay on the flight plan as the travelling emergency ahead of ruckman Reilly O’Brien or untried forward Jonathon Beech.