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Swans have need for Reid: Coach backs struggling forward

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SYDNEY coach John Longmire has called for a lift from struggling forward Sam Reid but backed him to regain his form after a slow start to the season.

Reid has taken just 24 marks and kicked 4.4 from his five matches in 2019, and his lack of impact is part of the reason the Swans have battled to average a little more than 10 goals a game this year.

They sit 16th on the ladder with just one win, over Carlton in round three.

Reid played only one game last season due to serious quad and Achilles injuries, and also missed the entire 2016 season because of recurring soft tissue complaints.

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However, after a faultless summer he was expected to provide superstar forward Lance Franklin with some handy assistance inside-50.

In reality his influence has been extremely limited, and while Sydney's lack of forward 50 entries hasn't helped, Longmire said Reid's performances need to improve.

And he has backed the forward to get his season started in Saturday night's crucial derby against Greater Western Sydney at the SCG.

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"Against Carlton (in round three) he played really well, but since then it's fair to say he hasn't been up to his own standards," Longmire said on Wednesday.

On the weekend he was reasonable in the last quarter, but up until then he got his hands to a number of balls but dropped some easy marks.

"We'd like him to be able to take the pressure off (the other forwards) in our front half and be able to take those marks, and when we need that bail-out (kick) to be able to grab it and hit the scoreboard.

"He's working at his game and trying to get better all the time and that's what we expect.

"He's missed two out of the last three years, but his body is good, so getting that consistent form back is something he's working on."

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Off-season recruit Daniel Menzel will eventually add some much-needed potency to the Swans forward mix, but his return to the field might not be until next week at the earliest.

Menzel has been training with the main group for the past fortnight after recovering from pre-season groin surgery.

He trained well at the SCG on Wednesday and participated in some match simulation drills but isn't likely to feature in the NEAFL this week, which means his senior debut with Sydney won't happen for at least a month.

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"He's been training and looking quite good, but it's got to be continuous (training), and given his history we're mindful of that," Longmire said.

"We don't expect him to play this weekend unless he pulls up really well."

Longmire ruled out using Reid as a defender to help him recapture some touch, but hinted at a recall for youngster Lewis Melican for the clash with the Giants.

GWS tall forwards Jeremy Cameron (21 goals this season), Jeremy Finlayson (11) and Harry Himmelberg (five) have combined well so far, so Melican's inclusion could be important.

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It would allow the Swans to use Dane Rampe, Melican and Jackson Thurlow on that trio, and release Aliir Aliir to be an attacking weapon across half-back.

Melican played the opening two rounds of this year before he was dropped to the NEAFL after a poor night against Adelaide at the SCG.

"He's played 22 games, he's playing full-back which is a pretty tough position, and his last three weeks in the reserves has been part of that development," Longmire said.

"He played during the pre-season and he did a really good job at times, but his form dropped off a little bit.

"His last couple of weeks have been pretty good and we're confident he can still have a really strong season for us in that key defensive post."