HIS TEAM has lost just once this season, but Ross Lyon says Fremantle is still chasing Hawthorn as the premiership favourite.
The Dockers squeaked past a plucky Gold Coast by seven points at a wet Metricon Stadium on Saturday, and move to a 10-1 win-loss record ahead of their bye.
But despite being pleased with the win and remaining at least one game clear at the top of the ladder, Lyon said there was still plenty of room to improve for Fremantle.
WATCH: Ross Lyon's full post-match media conference
"In my opinion, we're all chasing Hawthorn still," Lyon said.
"Their percentage tells you, and their scoring and their player availability tells you.
"I think they've had three lapses that have cost them three games. I still think they're the best team in the competition and we're all chasing them.
"Fortunately we've made the most of our opportunities, it gives us a bit of breathing space.
"We're going to have to get going again. It’s a challenge, but one we're excited about."
Lyon said although the Suns gave them an almighty scare, he was pleased with a performance in which the Dockers dominated disposals (388-316), inside 50s (53-27) and scoring shots (23-11).
He was more about paying credit to the undermanned opponent than criticising his own team's performance eight days after its first loss of the season against Richmond.
Five talking points: Suns v Dockers
"I thought they won the third quarter but the other three quarters we probably dominated entry and general play but couldn't capitalise," Lyon said.
"I was thrilled with our character in the last quarter.
"I thought we were hard enough, I thought we pressured enough."
Lyon said although inaccurate kicking – Fremantle finished with 6.17 – kept the game close, he couldn't be too critical.
"We spoke about some shallow marks, some wide marks, so we probably needed a bit more penetration (with the forward 50 entries).
"I don't think we missed many sitters. All credit to their defence really."