‘Suns can’t afford repeat of 2018 drop off’: Fiorini
IN the moments directly after Gold Coast's 49-point QClash loss to Brisbane, Brayden Fiorini warned his fellow Suns leaders not to allow their AFL season to fall apart the way it did in 2018.
Gold Coast are 3-3 but after two horror losses, memories of last year's promising start and the nightmare that followed have come flooding back.
The Suns boasted the same record last season before losing 11 games straight, with a stunning win over Sydney the only thing stopping them from having that figure stand at 17.
Fiorini is acutely aware if the team is to take steps forward this season, it has to learn to arrest form slumps quicker.
"Last year we started really well and then fell off," the midfielder said.
"We have spoken about that. I brought it up (on Saturday) and said we can't allow it to happen.
"We fell off badly (last year) so we cant afford the two bad weeks to go into three, to go into four.
"We need to get back to training hard and getting it back on our terms."
Gold Coast face an almighty task to turn things around, with a trip across the country to take on reigning premiers West Coast this Saturday.
West Coast have dropped games to Brisbane away and Port Adelaide at home already this season and Fiorini believed the Suns could join them.
"They are a really good side but still getting into the swing of things," Fiorini said.
"We saw Port beat them over there (in Western Australia). We are 100 per cent confident if we play our brand of footy and start at the contest we will be in the game for most of it.
"It will give us every chance there."
Fiorini agreed with coach Stuart Dew in saying the team's mental preparation for the QClash had to be called into question as they search to regain their edge.
"We just went away from what we were doing in the first few weeks which was our tackle pressure, our contest," Fiorini said.
"We didn't show up in those aspects of the game on the weekend.
"It's not a crisis, there are still a lot of games left but we have had two bad games in a row now so it wasn't a fluke.
"We do need to question our own preparation and focus on that throughout the week, train really hard and get back to having an edge at training and focus on the contest.
"Our game plan starts with that contest and pressure around the ball and we haven't had that so we haven't been a chance.
"Our midfield got shown up in contested ball and clearances so we will be working at that.
"I think we will go back to more specific line training this week so we can really nail down what we stand for as a midfield group."