SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Dustin Martin of the Tigers looks dejected as he leaves the pitch during the round 17 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Richmond Tigers at Spotless Stadium on July 14, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Former Melbourne champion Garry Lyon has defended Dustin Martin’s 2018 season, saying “he’s still a damn fine player”.

Speaking on SEN this morning, Lyon said that Martin has been a victim of his own success, with his performances judged to his season in 2017, when he was awarded the AFLPA MVP, Brownlow Medal and Norm Smith Medal in a remarkable season.

“Had he not had that year, I think we’d still be looking at Dusty this year saying he’s playing pretty damn fine footy,” he said.

Lyon labelled it an “almost impossible standard to maintain.”

In 2018, Martin has averaged five less disposals per game and has only kicked eight goals in his past 10 games.

Lyon’s co-host on SEN, Essendon great Tim Watson agreed, saying that Martin may very well replicate his 2017 form when it matters most.

“You would not bet against him producing what he produced last year in the last month of football this year,” Watson said.