Port Adelaide assistant Nathan Bassett warns slow starts are mental issue for players ahead of Fremantle clash | Ralph Lauren

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Fremantle can expect a fired up Port Adelaide outfit to start their clash this weekend, according to Power assistant coach Nathan Bassett.

After conceding the first four goals of Sunday’s match to Collingwood, Bassett said Port’s focus would be getting off to a fast start this weekend against the Dockers.

“I think our starts have been poor, especially interstate in four of the five games this year,” Bassett said.

“We need to be a lot stronger at the start.

“We’re not as strong in the contest as we should be early.”

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Port Adelaide conceded five of the first six goals in both recent losses to the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane.

Bassett said it was up to the coaching staff to ensure players were mentally ready to go at the first bounce.

“Generally it’s between the ears,” he warned.

“It’s about educating each player to get themselves into the right headspace so they can start with the necessary energy.”

Bassett singled out young Connor Rozee as one player who needs to lift after a less-than-impressive start to 2021.

Port’s Connor Rozee has come under criticism for his start to 2021.
Camera IconPort’s Connor Rozee has come under criticism for his start to 2021. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

“Connor hasn’t played that well for two weeks,” he conceded.

“I thought he tried really hard yesterday.

“Connor’s a good young man who’s learning what it’s like to play regular AFL football. The honeymoon period of playing AFL football is over.”

After Nat Fyfe’s match-winning efforts against Sydney, Bassett was asked for his plans on how to stop the dual Brownlow Medallist.

But the Power assistant said he wasn’t concerned by the Fremantle skipper’s clearance dominance.

“I mean he’s going to protect his space and use his body well. He’s got great hands, (but) we’ve got some good players inside,” Bassett warned.

“I don’t think it’s as much clearance that’s our challenge at the moment.

“It’s more around what we’re doing off that.

“Our last month of footy hasn’t been great, I think it’s fair to say.

“We’ve been performing below the level of what a good finals team should perform at.”

Fremantle will take on Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval from 2.40pm on Sunday.



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