BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan has sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition - his second-placed Lions have plenty of room to improve.
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Brisbane moved to 10-3 with an "ugly" two-point victory over St Kilda on Sunday, again wasting chances in front of goal to put the game away earlier.
Fagan conceded his team's goalkicking yips could be weighing on the players psychologically.
He conceded the match should have been over at three-quarter time but for some inaccurate kicking.
Brisbane kicked 2.5 in the first quarter and 3.6 in a dominant third, but left the door ajar for the Saints – an opening Brett Ratten's men almost took.
"It would have been a loss that would have been incredibly disappointing had it occurred," Fagan said.
"The goalkicking continues to be a problem for us and we'll continue to work hard to improve it.
"The thing about the Brisbane Lions boys is they care about the team and they want the team to do well.
"When they feel like they're letting the team down that weighs on them psychologically a little bit.
"They think more about the result than the process itself."
Full forward Eric Hipwood was the primary culprit, spoiling an otherwise exceptional 14 disposal, eight mark (four contested) performance by nervously kicking three behinds and failing to make the distance on another.
Zac Bailey, Cam Rayner, Dan McStay, Hugh McCluggage and debutant Tom Fullarton also missed very gettable shots.
"That's a maturity thing," Fagan said. "It'll come, I know it'll come. I watch them at training and there's days they hardly miss.
"We can deservedly be criticized for our accuracy in front of goal, but we've still been able to win games of footy."
Brisbane now has a bye ahead of playing Collingwood, Gold Coast, Sydney and Carlton to round out its season.
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"I think we've still got a fair bit of room for improvement in our game," he said.
"Obviously goalkicking is one of those things.
"It seems to me if you want to do well in finals, you've got to be hitting form around that time, so we'll keep working away."
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten was disappointed but encouraged by his team's performance.
Ratten conceded Brisbane's inaccuracy kept the Saints in the game, but said the resilience to hang around was impressive.
"It looked like we were going to find a way," he said.
"It wasn't perfect footy.
"When you look at all the stats, they're about even … the game was there, it was an arm-wrestle, they're a top-four team, here at the Gabba, I think we got a bit of confidence out of it as well.
"I think it shows us we're thereabouts.
"It would have been great to win and that's what we came here for, but I think we took a step forward as a group."