THE SYDNEY Swans will tap into their proud history as they attempt to get their spluttering season back on track in Saturday's huge showdown with Fremantle.

The Swans have been one of the AFL's big disappointments so far in 2014, losing three of their first four games to sit in 13th place on the ladder.

Another defeat this week would leave them facing an enormous task just to make the finals, let alone achieve the top-four finish most had predicted.

It would also be a third consecutive home defeat to start the year, something that hasn't happened since the bad old days of 1993, when they lost their first five in Sydney and managed just one win all season.

Swans midfielder Ben McGlynn spoke passionately on Thursday about the need for the side to regain some pride in the jumper against the Dockers.

"It's a poor start for us," he said.

"The foundation the players that have gone before us have left, I think we need to dig into that.

"It's a proud football club and we need to do it for the people that have done the hard yards.

"When you put the jumper on, you're representing not just yourself and your family, but the footy club, the supporters and the people that have been here before you.

"A few boys on Monday were a bit disappointed with their efforts and I expect a better performance this weekend."

McGlynn is one of the few Swans who can hold their heads high this season, clearly among the best in last week's poor effort against North Melbourne.

Following an excellent pre-season, the former small forward has been playing more through the midfield this year, getting the better of his duel with Brent Harvey on Saturday.

This week, the Swans will have to combat Freo tagger Ryan Crowley, who bested Kieren Jack in their most recent battle in last year's preliminary final.

The Swans' midfield is under pressure to perform and McGlynn says whoever Crowley gets, his teammates need to help out.

"It's just a bit of care in helping Kieren out if (Crowley) does go to Kieren or Macca (Jarrad McVeigh) or Josh Kennedy," he said.

"You just have to put a bit of body pressure on him, but the individual still has to work hard and make his opponent walk off the ground knowing he's had a good battle and not just turn your toes up.

"Whoever he goes to, I'm sure he's going to have four quarters of hard work."

The Dockers used a stifling brand of football to shut the Swans down in their bruising preliminary final last year and McGlynn concedes the outcome that day forced the Swans to go back to the drawing board.

"They played well," he said. "They shut us down and we learned a bit from that game and put a few things in place over the summer to learn from experiences like that.

"But you don't really think about those situations coming in, especially in the position we're in.

"We're about getting our processes right and making sure everyone has a fair dinkum crack on Saturday."

Twitter: @AFL_JD

The Swans are hoping to bring back some traditional values against Fremantle. Picture: AFL Media