Nat Fyfe (right) and Justin Longmuir after Fremantle's loss to West Coast in round six, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

FREMANTLE star Nat Fyfe says his team's disappointing Derby defeat was not reflective of a trend this season, with the Dockers set on quickly "resurrecting" their contested brand against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.

The dual Brownlow medallist also believed the team may not have dealt with back-to-back narrow losses to Carlton and Port Adelaide as well as it would have liked, having executed their game well but missed out on wins.  

The Dockers will look to avoid a fourth straight defeat when they take on the Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on Saturday night in the annual Len Hall Tribute Game, with Fyfe expecting the team will quickly get back to the football it played in the first five matches.

"It (the Derby) was a disappointing loss, but we seem to think that's not reflective of how our season has been going," Fyfe said.

"Derbies are always scrutinised a little bit higher and particularly ones where there's an expectation that you're going to win.

"So we understand that things are a bit magnified at the moment, but we look for trends and our trend so far this season has not been reflective of what that game was.

"Contest has been something we've been really good at this year, so there were some elements of that game where West Coast really came to play and beat us at our own game and we'll look to resurrect that pretty quickly."

Nat Fyfe is wrapped up by Harley Reid, Reuben Ginbey and Tim Kelly during the R6 match between Fremantle and West Coast at Optus Stadium on April 20, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Asked about the mental challenge of getting back on track after such a disappointing performance, Fyfe highlighted the potential impact of a two-game road trip to Adelaide and last-gasp losses to the Blues and Power.

"We don't hide behind any excuse, but there is a cumulative effect of playing in big games and not quite getting the results and we probably need to acknowledge that at some level maybe coming back from Adelaide we didn't respond as well as we would have liked to," Fyfe said.

"We're human, you play games, the emotions are really close to the surface, and you don't quite get the result. That means the review doesn't go the way you'd like it to go, and potentially there is cumulative effect of putting in maximum effort not getting those results.

"But we're already moving on to the Bulldogs and the Len Hall game. It's a great opportunity, we love to play in that match. Already our minds are starting to look forward to bringing a real contested brand."


Fyfe, who led the midfield with a game-high 13 clearances against the Eagles, said he was looking forward to challenging himself again against superstar Marcus Bontempelli and a deep Bulldogs midfield.

The former skipper said he was feeling better each week physically and growing more confident as he plays a crucial inside midfield role supporting the Dockers' other onballers.

"It's nice to be able to go into the start of a week feeling good, being able to train and continue to work with the other midfielders in our team," the 32-year-old said.

"I'm trying to work out what metrics to judge performance on and mostly it's the impact that we have as a group and how I feel physically out there in terms of what I think I'm capable of doing at the time and what my body allows me to do.

"That's getting more and more expansive each time I get through a full game and pleasingly again my expectations of myself are gradually rising again and my own individual performance and where that can go over the rest of this season and next year."