FREMANTLE coach Ross Lyon is "hurting" after a disastrous start to the season and insists the Dockers are a better side than their current form suggests.
The winless Dockers have slumped to the bottom of the ladder and copped a hammering from fans and media following an 89-point thrashing from Port Adelaide on Sunday.
"(I'm) certainly hurting. We're all hurting. We understand the journey we're on and we need to improve and we're transitioning," Lyon told Channel Seven.
"We certainly think we're better than what we showed on the weekend."
Freo is the lowest-scoring team after two rounds – averaging just 64.5 points per game – and has come under fire for failing to keep up with a more attacking bent across the competition.
But Lyon rejected criticism that the Dockers, who are in the midst of a four-year rebuild, haven't moved with the times.
"I don’t have to listen to it to know what's being said, because it's predictable," Lyon said.
"That's fair enough, we're not winning, so that goes with the territory.
"We think we're changing (the game style) and obviously with the changes comes some uncertainty.
"We expected to be playing better, we don't shy away from that, but we've certainly got a growth mindset – we're not a fixed mindset – so we aim to improve."
The Dockers committed some horrible turnovers in their losses to Geelong and the Power but – after focusing on skills last pre-season and only winning four games in 2016 – Lyon has shifted attention back to effort and teamwork.
"Effort underpins everything you do," he said. "Once you get to the national level and the AFL and 100, 150 and 200-game players, even the elite under-18 kids of the competition, you can only shift their skillset so far.
"It's about strategy and tactics and teaching the players to play as a complementary team.
"But the notion that you can shift skill dramatically is far-fetched."
The Dockers will attempt to break their duck this Saturday evening when they host reigning premiers the Western Bulldogs at Domain Stadium.