At first glance, a 1-3 start to the AFL season by the Brisbane Lions doesn’t make pretty reading for last year’s preliminary finalists.
But coach Chris Fagan insists there’s no need to hit the panic button.
The Lions spent the vast majority of last season enjoying the comforts of home after COVID-19 forced most AFL clubs to relocate to the sunshine state.
It’s been a different tale in early 2021, with a coronavirus outbreak in south-east Queensland in late March requiring them to stay in Victoria for three weeks.
It meant their round-three clash with Collingwood was switched from the Gabba to Marvel Stadium, a match the Lions won by a point.
Fagan acknowledged his team struggled to cope with the cold and windy conditions in Saturday’s 19-point defeat to the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat as the mercury struggled to reach 14 degrees, a far cry from the 34 degrees forecast for Brisbane.
The Lions fly home on Saturday night and get the chance to turn their season around, with five of their next seven games in Queensland, starting with a round-five clash with Essendon at the Gabba.
“It hasn’t been a bad three weeks at all for us,” insisted Fagan.
“We lost a game to Geelong by a point, we beat Collingwood by a point and we played an honest enough game up here today.
“You wouldn’t walk away from the last three weeks saying it’s been a disaster.”
Fagan said his players had maintained a positive attitude throughout their longer-than-expected stint in Victoria.
“We think we’ve played some pretty good sides,” he said.
“As it turns out, the Swans haven’t been beaten and neither have the Dogs.
“Geelong is a good side and so is Collingwood, so that’s a solid month.
“We’d love to be 2-2. We’re not quite that, but we take that on board.
“We’re not down on ourselves or anything like that.”