BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan has launched a stinging defence of his team's ability to win without Harris Andrews, saying the Lions are not a "one-man team".
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Fagan came to his Tuesday morning press conference outside the Gabba armed with stats and examples to back up his argument, refuting question after question about the impact of missing Andrews.
"For starters, it's not a massive blow," Fagan said.
"We're a team, not the Harris Andrews Football Club.
"Yes, he's an important player, but we've got other guys that play the role. We defend as a team."
Fagan listed Richmond winning last year's premiership without Alex Rance, West Coast the year before without Nic Naitanui and Andrew Gaff and Hawthorn winning in 2014 and 2015 after Lance Franklin's departure to Sydney as examples of teams beating the odds.
He said it had been interesting listening to the "banter" over recent days, with experts including Matthew Lloyd drawing a line through Brisbane's premiership chances following the hamstring injury to All-Australian Andrews.
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"The sporting world is scattered with examples where you might lose a great player, but the other guys find a way to step up and improve," Fagan said.
"I understand why they're saying it, but from our perspective we don't accept that.
"We're not a one-man team, never have been, never will be.
"We've built a system that relies on 22 players playing their roles, week in and week out, and that's what we'll continue to do.
"All this stuff you guys talk about, you must be bored of working, you go straight to the obvious."
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Andrews has missed seven games in the past two seasons with Brisbane winning six.
This has caused great mirth among his teammates, who regularly remind their vice-captain of the winning record they've collated in his absence.
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Brisbane faces Gold Coast on Wednesday night, followed by Sydney and Carlton to finish the home and away season.
Andrews is already back slowly jogging and progressing well, with his expected return in either week two or three of the finals.