FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir is confident his team can "flick the switch" and improve its skills against Greater Western Sydney after what he hopes was a one-off slump against Melbourne in round one.
The Dockers will need to rebound against GWS at Optus Stadium on Sunday without Liam Henry, however, with the exciting young forward ruled out with a calf injury.
Longmuir has brought a sharp focus on skills since arriving ahead of the 2020 season, and ball use was the priority on the track this week after the 22-point loss against the Demons.
The coach said the team had not neglected its skills at any point and he was confident the players could bounce back in that area against the Giants, who are also staring at 0-2 if they lose.
"The players and coaching staff are eager to rectify that straight away," Longmuir said on Friday.
"I think it is 'flick the switch' because I haven't seen that level of skill from us, especially forward of centre, for a while.
"I know we've done the work over the pre-season, it's not as though we've neglected our skills.
"We've done a lot of it, so hopefully it was a one off and we get back to playing aggressive, back-ourselves-in footy."
The Dockers had 83 turnovers against the Demons and just seven marks inside 50, with their efficiency going forward also impacted by an injury-hit forward line lacking multiple tall targets.
They will regain ruckman Sean Darcy from a knee injury this week, with the big man earmarked for a role in attack, providing occasional ruck relief for Lloyd Meek.
"He'll play forward. It's unfortunate he missed out on game time with Peel last week, but he's done the work and he just needs to give us a contest," Longmuir said.
"He'll play forward and give 'Meeky' a chop-out in the ruck at times. All we need is a contest and for him to engage his opponent. I'm really confident he can do that well."
Longmuir said the Dockers did not have an injury crisis on their hands after Henry and defender Taylin Duman, who rolled an ankle at training, joined a lengthy injury list this week.
The injuries have paved the way for impressive first-year defender Heath Chapman to make his debut in a high defender role, while rebounding defender Nathan Wilson will also return.
"He's ready and he deserves his opportunity and he's going to bring a lot of excitement to the team, " Longmuir said of Chapman.
"'Willo' will play and he's had to earn his spot in the side because of our depth through the backline and getting his fitness right.
"I'm really confident he's ticked those boxes. He gives us ball use and run and carry out of the backline, which is something we missed last week."