Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has provided an update on ailing Dockers trio Sean Darcy, James Aish, and Michael Frederick, as well as batted down suggestions he should make a change to the demeanour with which he opts to address his playing group.
The Dockers have found themselves the subject of scrutiny for the majority of this season, having underperformed for a large portion considering pre-season expectations that they should be looking to challenge for a maiden premiership in 2023.
Darcy, Luke Jackson's rucking partner in crime, has been battling a moderate-grade hamstring injury, Aish continues to recover from the concussion he received after a collision with Tiger Rhyan Mansell, while Frederick has been nursing an injured adductor.
Speaking to 7 News Perth's Ryan Daniels on Tuesday, Longmuir provided a hopeful update on the trio of Dockers aiming to return from injury, in particular the crucial Darcy.
"Yes (Darcy is nearing a return), he's got to get through training, that's the final box he needs to tick, and we've got our fingers crossed he'll do that and be ready to play," Longmuir said.
Darcy's inclusion will be especially welcomed this week, as reports have surfaced that emerging Essendon ruckman Sam Draper is under an injury cloud entering this weekend's bout.
Quizzed on the kind of coach he is and whether he needs to make changes to his own coaching philosophies, Longmuir remained steadfast in his mentoring beliefs.
"I'm not much of a shouter and screamer, I think I get my messages across clearly," Longmuir said.
"I think I strike the balance between stick and carrot. What the players are looking for after a performance on the weekend is what they did wrong, but also a pathway out of it and a pathway forward.
"I think I strike the balance between those things well and I can always get better as a coach, but yesterday in the review was about providing a pathway out of it.
"Hopefully it's set a platform for us to train really well this week and improve performance against Essendon."
Longmuir's Dockers take on the sixth-placed Bombers on Saturday night at Optus Stadium, with both teams' selected sides to be announced this Thursday evening.