BRISBANE Lions youngster Rhys Mathieson needs to change his technique to avoid drawing high tackles, captain Tom Rockliff says.
Despite only playing two senior games, Mathieson has been one of the players targeted by critics amid a raging debate about footballers 'ducking' into tackles.
Rockliff said he didn't want to see a proliferation of players seeking to win high free kicks become a blight on the game.
"It's obviously a technique thing that we've got to work on with Rhys," Rockliff told 3AW.
"We don’t want that across the board as players, I think it makes it really hard to tackle and so on.
"Rhys has got to continue to improve his game, not only in that area, but I'm sure he's continuing to work at that.
"Rhys has still got to attack the ball the way he does and make sure he's helping the team and the way we want to move the footy,
"He's clean at ground level and it's a real asset of his. The quicker he can release that ball, it sets up our ball movement really well."
After losing their past six games, the Lions should welcome back Rockliff for an intriguing contest against Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The skipper has been struck down by calf and hamstring injuries this season, with the 26-year-old working on strengthening his back after visiting specialists in Canberra.
"I've never really had a soft-tissue (injuries), I've always had back issues the last two or three years, but this year it seems to have related to soft-tissue injuries," Rockliff said.
"They're not direct hamstrings (strains), they're a little bit sciatic, along that sciatic nerve line, so it's a little bit different.
"I've got to train tomorrow, but I'm super-confident that I've done everything. Hopefully my body holds up and I don't break down again for the rest of the season."
Rockliff has only played five games this season, and missed the club's only win over Gold Coast in round four.
The Lions have lost their past three matches by an average of 63 points without the skipper in the side, although Justin Leppitsch's men showed some fight in a 48-point loss to Hawthorn last round.
"I think there's only one way to (improve our results) and that's through hard work – and we know that," Rockliff said.
"All the boys are willing to put their head down and get to work, and make sure we come out the other side and compete really well in the future."