Four returning Sydney stars will be available for Saturday’s AFL derby but Swans’ coach John Longmire says they won’t automatically fix his winless side’s woes.
Longmire said Jarrad McVeigh, Isaac Heeney, Kurt Tippett and Gary Rohan would be available for Saturday’s game against Greater Western Sydney, at the SCG, though there was no guarantee they would all play.
The Swans coach made it clear the returning players wouldn’t necessarily provide the panacea to arrest their 0-4 start.
“Whilst we’re really looking forward to getting some players back this week and confident that can help us both in the short and medium term, they are not going to be the answer,” Longmire said.
“We can’t be waiting for the players that we get back in the team this week to automatically fix our form and consistency over four quarters.”
Longmire expected star forward Lance Franklin to play on Saturday despite little training on Tuesday after suffering a corked thigh last week.
“He wasn’t planned to do much today, he did a little bit of leg work and we expect him to do training fully on Thursday and be available to play,” Longmire said.
The Giants’ main injury concern is veteran forward Steve Johnson, who missed last weekend’s game due to a knee issue.
“Steve Johnson will train tomorrow, hopefully he’ll put his hand up but his knee has been sore for the last couple of weeks,” Giants coach Leon Cameron said.
He reported midfielder Dylan Shiel should play after taking a “stinger” to the shoulder and that scans had cleared influential back Heath Shaw of any significant shin damage.
“Hopefully he can train tomorrow, but given it’s a seven-day break we expect him to get up,” Cameron said.
Swans vice-captain Luke Parker conceded his form and that of the side in general could have been better, though he felt he took a step forward last week against West Coast.
“It hasn’t been up to my standard that I set for myself and I need to improve as an individual and keep needing to drive the group to get better as well,” Parker said.
“But we haven’t lost confidence at all in the standard of football that we can play.
“We’ve been a good team for a number of seasons and you don’t just lose that in a month of football, so I have full faith that we’ve got the right team to be able to bounce back and get our season back on track.”
Longmire said it had been his toughest start to a campaign but was very confident the Swans would return to their best, though he wasn’t certain it would happen this week.