AN EARLY season heart-to-heart with Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has helped unlock some of the best football of Mitch Robinson's career.
Robinson was a star at the weekend, gathering 30 disposals and kicking a career-high four goals in a win over GWS, and again looms as pivotal in Friday night's crunch clash with Melbourne.
Which 23 Lions run out against the Demons is still up in the air, with Brownlow medalist Lachie Neale (ankle) and reliable defender Ryan Lester (hamstring) both getting through Tuesday's training session and pushing for selection.
Brisbane has a bye following this round.
After a quiet opening fortnight to the season, Robinson has found a new lease of life, averaging 22 disposals over the past nine rounds.
And he credits the coach for much of his turnaround.
"We just had an open and honest conversation," Robinson said.
"I've got that relationship with Fages that we can be honest.
"We had a sit down while we were in lockdown in Melbourne after that (round two) game and he asked how I was feeling.
"I had some stuff going on off-field, so he was checking on me and making sure my head was in the right spot.
"We talked about post career, we had a big conversation about how it looks.
"It was refreshing and I got some stuff off my chest.
"He wasn't worried about the touches I was getting, it was more just how I was going off-field, which is why we love him here."
Robinson is out of contract and will turn 32 next week, but looks as spritely as ever, mixing his usual courage and hard defensive running with some touches of class against the Giants.
He said he had "two to three" good years of football in him.
"It (the chat) gave me an understanding of where I was," he said.
"It felt like I had something to prove again, some fire in the belly.
"He was doing that in the pre-season as well, trying to get me to go to another level.
"He's been around the traps for a while, he knows what works for some players and I think he got me going."