Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong celebrate a goal during Fremantle's clash against Gold Coast in round 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir feels his team has realigned following last week's public "clip", and there'll be no talk of being the underdog ahead of Saturday's clash with ladder leader Sydney at the SCG.

Longmuir accused some of his midfielders of fattening their stats sheet in the wake of the 67-point loss to the Western Bulldogs a fortnight ago.

The Dockers responded in style last week, producing a strong effort across the opening three quarters on the way to a 20-point win over fellow finals contender Gold Coast.

Fremantle's premier midfield trio of Andrew Brayshaw, Caleb Serong and Hayden Young all hit the scoreboard in influential displays.

They will receive an even bigger test this week when they come up against the likes of Chad Warner, Isaac Heeney, Errol Gulden and James Rowbottom.

"It may have been a little clip at the mids ... but I'm not sure it was a massive statement," Longmuir said of his comments about his team playing for stats against the Bulldogs.


"I feel like we've realigned and I feel like they would have got a lot of confidence by the way we played on the weekend, and from what we've done pretty consistently across the year.

"We're confident that when we value the right things and when we execute the gameplan, it holds up against anyone."

Sydney (13-1) sits three games clear on top of the ladder after producing a scintillating 10-match winning run.

The Dockers (8-5-1) are fifth, but their victory hopes against Sydney were dealt a huge blow when it was confirmed that skipper Alex Pearce will miss three to four weeks with a fractured left forearm.

Alex Pearce looks on after the R15 match between Fremantle and Gold Coast at Optus Stadium on June 23, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Nevertheless, Fremantle is keen to make a bold statement against the competition's best team.

"I haven't really talked about being the underdogs. I think that sells the message that we're inferior," Longmuir said.

"We want to go over there with belief.

"It's going to have to be one of our more connected games of the year.

"When we play our best footy, we do it as an 18, or a 22, and we're going to need that this week, we're not reliant on one person.

"As good as Pearce has been, we'll fill his seat in the boat and we'll go over there and play our best four-quarter team performance."

Justin Longmuir addresses his players during Fremantle's clash against the Western Bulldogs in round 14, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Brennan Cox made it through 60 minutes of action in the WAFL reserves last Saturday in his first match back from hamstring surgery.

Longmuir won't risk Cox against the Swans, with the 25-year-old instead to play a full game in the WAFL seniors.

It means first-year defender Josh Draper is likely to earn a recall to partner last week's debutant Hugh Davies.

"As tempting as it is (to recall him against Sydney) ... it's just not the right thing," Longmuir said of Cox.

"It might be the right thing for this week, but it might not be the right thing for his long term, which is more important."