Sydney coach John Longmire has warned any reduction in his red-hot AFL team’s pressure skills will result in losses for the unbeaten Swans.
The Swans are 5-0 and second on percentage behind West Coast, the only other undefeated side.
Unsurprisingly, Longmire did his best on Monday to keep the lid on the rising tide of media and public expectations of his emerging side following their win over highly-fancied Hawthorn on Sunday.
“We’ve laid a really good foundation and we’ve been able to play good consistent pressure footy for those five weeks, but we know it’s a long way to go,” Longmire told reporters.
“We’re not a good team until we start to do it week in, week out.
“I think the players are confident if we play the real pressure style of footy that we want to play, that we can be more than competitive when we play any team.
“That’s the challenge, now just to keep that type of pressure footy up and that’s what we’re going to try week in, week out.
“That’s what we set ourselves to do over the off-season. We’ve been able to do it most weeks leading up to this week’s game.
“But we’ve got to continue to do it. That’s our biggest challenge if we drop a little bit – the competition is too close and we’ll get beaten.”
Longmire hoped both tall utility Lewis Roberts-Thomson and half-back flanker Nick Malceski would both be fit for Saturday’s SCG clash with Adelaide.
Each was injured against the Hawks with Longmire waiting to see how both pull up after Thursday’s training session.
“LRT’s face and also Nick Malceski’s knee are both OK structurally. We will just see how they go later in the week,” Longmire said.
He was more concerned with focusing on the challenge of beating Adelaide, who have made a 4-1 start, than dwelling on Sydney’s unbeaten streak.
“They (Adelaide) have got some fantastic young players on their list,” Longmire said.
“They’ve got some imposing key forwards, they’ve got a fantastic midfield and a really solid backline.
“We’re looking at their strengths and need to break them down but, importantly, concentrate on our own game and make sure that ultimately, we bring four quarters of pressure footy.”
After losing a number of home games to title contenders early last year, Longmire said it was important for his players’ confidence to claim a big scalp like Hawthorn.