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Lions look beyond wooden spoon in clash against Blues

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Brisbane will be trying everything to reproduce the quick start they managed against Fremantle when they play bottom side Carlton at the Gabba next Saturday.

Lions coach Chris Fagan says it wont be about avoiding a second consecutive wooden though when they play the Blues, but further reinforcing belief in the playing group that they are on the right track.

A win over Carlton would almost guarantee Brisbane of avoiding a bottom of the table finish for the second time in as many years under Fagan.

Four points on Saturday could even see them leapfrog both the Gold Coast Suns and St Kilda.

And having won their first opening quarter for the season, against Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Sunday, the Lions can now see how important a quick start is.

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“To win the first quarter is exciting; it's something we have focussed on since the bye,” Lions coach Chris Fagan said.

“We weren't too far away from doing it against GWS, and today we were able to do it for the first time this year.

Winning grin: Lions coach Chris Fagan.

Photo: AAP

“It makes a lot of difference when you are in front at quarter-time; you can be a bit more proactive when you're not trying to chase.”

The Lions' opening term stats look worse than they really are. Of the 13 they have lost, only four times have they trailed by more than three goals after the first break. Six times the margin has been in single figures against Brisbane at quarter-time.

And five times, they have gone on to lose by fewer than three goals. But Sunday's clash against the Dockers was the first time under Fagan that they have been able to win all four quarters in a game.

The Lions are not letting in as many goals now as they did in 2016, before Fagan took over.

In 2016, opposition teams averaged 130 points per game against the Lions. In 2017, that dropped to 114 points per game, and in 14 games of season 2018 it has been reduced further, to just 95 points.

Despite the encouraging stats, Fagan said it was good to get the win over the Dockers because he was starting to think that his players werent going to be rewarded for the efforts they are putting in.

“We want to win some more games,” he said. “Really it is just about reinforcement to the young fellas in the game about what we are trying to do.

“We don't even talk about the wooden spoon. For us it's about getting better at little things in games and we managed to do that again today.

“We'll just continue on that – the process, not the wins and losses. We know if we keep getting better at our process, the wins will come.

“Carlton's last couple of weeks have been very good. They played against Collingwood and Port Adelaide, who have been pretty good football sides and they haven't been too far away from saluting, so we'll need to be at our best again next week to ensure we win that game.

“We wont be getting ahead of ourselves; we have no reason to.”

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