ROSS Lyon is still searching for the right forward line mix despite his side notching a thrilling seven-point win over Collingwood on Thursday night.

The top-of-the-table Dockers won for the 11th time this season on the back of a four-goal haul from Michael Walters and two goals each from Nat Fyfe and Stephen Hill. 

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Hayden Ballantyne kicked just one, only his ninth goal of the season, and Matthew Pavlich didn't kick a goal for the third consecutive week. 

It is the first time since 2011 that Pavlich has gone three games without kicking a goal, although conditions have been against him. 

Lyon had played a three-tall forward structure for most of the season with Pavlich, Matt Taberner and the resting ruckman providing a triumvirate for the small forwards to work off.

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Freo's offence was brilliant through the first eight rounds, averaging 97 points per game, but the Dockers have averaged just 68 points per match since.

Lyon dropped Taberner this week and Jack Hannath has been preferred over Zac Clarke as the second ruckman for the past two matches.

The coach said he couldn't keep playing the same line-up if his team was not producing the scores required.

"You can't just roll along and all have a milkshake and pretend everything is hunky-dory when you're not giving us output," Lyon said.

"We're paid to make some calls. Taberner's not going to tap himself out of the team.

"So we just made the call and clearly in these conditions it was the right call.

"Really we could've been a bit smaller - it was tough night. But you need a second ruck. Maybe Alex Pearce can start rucking in these conditions.

"We'll have a look at it. We're pretty keen to give (Jon) Griffin a look … Clarke played really well (in the WAFL). Tendai (Mzungu) was a bit stiff to go out.

"So we'll have a look at the performance tonight. We just won't roll along and pretend everything's hunky-dory."

Lyon was pleased with Walters' performance but was not overly effusive with his praise.

"I don't get overly euphoric when people do their job," Lyon said.

WATCH: Ross Lyon's full post-match press conference

He also said Ballantyne would continue to work hard despite not producing the number of goals he kicked last year when he was named All Australian.

Lyon said he was particularly frustrated by skills errors entering the forward 50.

"We had some shocking turnovers early when we had opportunities to go to one-on-ones inside forward 50," he said.

"At the end of the day that starts and finishes with me. Clearly our football program needs to improve because they should be able to do it instinctively under pressure.

"So if they're going to other options that just means the football program I've put together for them isn't at the level required to train them up.

"So we need to improve our football program."