A FEW phone calls from former midfield aces helped Brisbane star Dayne Zorko finally bounce back with a season-best performance.
After the match, Lions coach Chris Fagan thanked the unnamed retired players for helping Zorko find his touch with a massive 34-possession, 10-tackle and four-goal game.
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Fagan said the advice and Zorko’s drive as a proud competitor led to his strong performance.
"I sorted of helped organise a little bit of it. Sometimes it is good to hear from other people that have been through the same scenario and hear how they worked their way through it," he said.
"So we thought that was a good strategy for Dayne and he embraced it and certainly got a lot out of it. Thank you to those people who helped out."
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Fagan said Zorko would have other challenges ahead, but believes Sunday’s performance would give him confidence in his ability to work through the tough times.
"I just thought over the two weeks he has now worked out the attitude you need to have to force your way and impose yourself on games. All credit to him," he said.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley also heaped praise on the resurgent Zorko performance.
"It wasn't to allow him to have 34 and four and 10 tackles. That's a significant game and a really good performance. He's a really good player," Buckley said.
"Whatever our plans were, they didn't work, and I think a large part of that was the way we allowed the game to be played and the way Brisbane could impose their style on the game."
Despite the loss, Fagan said the Gabba crowd witnessed a Lions team that was on the right track, hailing the performance as his best since becoming coach.
"They can see before their very eyes what’s happening with this team, they’re growing and developing," Fagan said.
"You just have to give them a little bit of time and they’ll get there because Collingwood are a very in-form team at the moment.
"I really rate that performance by us tonight. In terms of our development, probably, in my short time at the club, that’s our best performance."
Fagan said the Lions in time would start winning the close games.
"Five of our seven games this year we have been in front at some stage in the last quarter. Which you probably haven’t been able to say that about a Brisbane side for a long time," he said.