BLOWOUTS in Fremantle's last two games have some worried about the Dockers' progression but coach Ross Lyon believes "there's plenty of light at the end of the tunnel".
Fremantle has been hammered in consecutive games by Sydney and Richmond, both times to the tune of 104 points.
Those results have caused the Dockers' percentage to fall to the lowest in the competition at 73.8 – 1.2 per cent below the last-placed Brisbane Lions.
Lyon pointed to the Tigers' turnaround as evidence that circumstances could change quickly when speaking to Channel Seven on Tuesday night.
In 2016, Richmond won eight matches (the same tally Fremantle is at) but a season later, the Tigers are well-placed to lock up a top-four berth.
"(The heavy defeats are) not what we're chasing but in the context of the team and the injuries and the personnel, it's not unexpected, even though we want to be more competitive," Lyon said.
"But there's always possibility in going forward. Richmond lost six of eight last year and they lost their last game by 113 points.
"Everyone wants to be dramatic, but there's plenty of light at the end of the tunnel.
"Our young players are signing on, we're banging games into our kids, and the bulk of them, when we've had a lot of personnel unavailable, have been very competitive, so it's not panic stations here."
Gun midfielder Lachie Neale missed against the Tigers and has carried a groin injury throughout the season, while fellow stars Michael Walters and Aaron Sandilands head a lengthy list of unavailable players.
Meanwhile, retiring defender Garrick Ibbotson is not expected to receive a farewell game. The 29-year-old will retire after Peel Thunder's finals campaign in the WAFL finishes.
Zac Dawson is in a similar situation, and he too won't have one last chance to grace an AFL field.
"(Ibbotson's) a professional, much admired, great person. (A farewell game would) be unlikely," Lyon said.
"I think once you've retired mentally, it's very hard to come up.
"We'll hold our line, we'll keep playing the majority of our youth and we'll try and keep integrity of selection, so people underneath who deserve to come in, they'll get an opportunity."
The Dockers face Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.