It’s been a rollercoaster start to the second half of the season for the Sydney Swans, but midfielder James Rowbottom says the relocation to Melbourne isn't to blame for their 10-point loss to Port Adelaide.
“Obviously it’s pretty flattening, it would have been a great result to win given the day and week we had in the lead up to the game. We identified a couple of mistakes and decisions with the ball in hand that ended up costing us," Rowbottom said on Big Sports Breakfast this morning (Tuesday June 29).
The club, like many others, are no stranger to life in an AFL hub as they remain in Melbourne ahead of a top 8 clash against West Coast on Sunday at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong.
“We’ve been pretty good even last year and at times this year just adapting to what’s in front of us. We’re just going to do everything we can to keep the season going," Rowbottom said.
"Obviously our best footy can match it with the best, but when we don’t play our best footy we can get knocked over. When our pressure is up and our contested footy and possession is up, we’re playing well. That’s what we have to keep focusing on and improving on.
"West Coast are a damaging side with Nic Naitanui in the middle and Tim Kelly around the ball. They’re hard to beat but if we can bring that pressure and not give them that time in possession, then we are confident we can get the job done.”
For Rowbottom personally, the temporary relocation to Victoria has a silver lining - with the midfielder enjoying some long overdue family time.
“The last two nights I’ve been able to go home for dinner which has been good. I haven’t seen the family for a while so it’s been nice."
Rowbottom admits he’s enjoying his best season yet at the club, and believes a huge part of the Swans 2021 success has been the influence of assistant coach Don Pyke.
“I think I’ve won as many games this year as I did in my last two years combined. It’s really exciting, the boys are just loving being a part of the club at the moment.
"He’s [Don Pyke] has been unbelievable since he walked in the door, he’s made such an impact on the game plan and ball movement. Even the other coaches, they all work so well together. Don's awesome to have around the club, he made an impact immediately and it’s helped us a lot. “