BROWNLOW medallist Lachie Neale wants Brisbane's midfield to be more ferocious and improve its workrate against the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night.
In dismantling the Lions by 64 points last week, Melbourne won the clearance count by 11 and contested possessions by 38 to bankroll victory.
Two matches earlier, Fremantle won clearances by 11 and dominated the midfield battle to set up victory in the match-defining third quarter.
While Brisbane coach Chris Fagan described last week's loss as "out of character", Neale put the onus on the engine room to lift.
"We played shocking last week and Melbourne were really good," Neale said following a light training run on Wednesday.
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"I think we got taught a lesson in the hunt, getting after the footy and getting numbers to it and the attack on the ball, they were far superior to us.
"And their workrate from those contests as well, they were able to outnumber us.
"I'd expect a lot more workrate and a lot more ferocity at the ball. Two pretty simple things."
Brisbane will be bolstered by the return of captain Dayne Zorko (hamstring) and electric half-forward Zac Bailey (health and safety protocols) to add speed to its team.
Fagan confirmed Mitch Robinson would be omitted, while young midfielders Deven Robertson and Tom Berry were also absent from the 26-man training squad after playing against the Demons.
"They taught us a lesson on contested ball and probably premiership standards to be honest. It was probably a good reminder for us," Neale said.
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"Words are pretty cheap now, we've got to get it into action, hopefully you'll see a better response rather than hearing me and Fages talk about it."
It won't be any easier for the Lions against the rejuvenated Bulldogs – the same team that ended their season in 2021 with an epic one-point semi-final win at the Gabba.
The Dogs have won five of their past six matches and their much-vaunted midfield is returning to somewhere near their best.
Fagan said the core of his team wanted redemption after last week's performance.
"We're not happy with the way we played, but it's not the be all and end all," he said.
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"The good thing about those performances is you get to have a good look at yourself and especially against a team like Melbourne who played out of their skins last week.
"That's the level of intensity you have to be at to win the premiership.
"They showed us that in round 15, which is a good thing for us I think."