Maroochydore product Josh Drummond says the return of Brisbane skipper Jonathan Brown won't necessarily dig the Lions out of their current rut.
The Lions have lost their opening seven matches of the season and their past 10 at the Gabba.
Brown declared yesterday he was a certain starter for Saturday night's home match against North Melbourne, having recovered from surgery to mend several fractures in his face following a sickening clash in round one against Fremantle.
But while the key forward's return will be a major boost for the struggling Lions, Drummond says his presence won't equal results.
“It doesn't matter if it's Jonathan Brown out there or a first-year player, we've got to get our structures right and numbers right, or else it's pretty hard to play how you want to,” he said.
“The big fella's excited to come back and we're excited to have him back because he's a terrific player and a good target going forward.
“But we need to get everything right and get the structures right when the game's there to be had.”
Brisbane led Essendon by one point at half-time before being outplayed in the second half, eventually losing by 36 points.
Drummond, who was playing his second match back after a knee reconstruction, said he was impressed by Brisbane's first half but admitted the players swayed from their game plan in the second.
“That was credit to Essendon and the pressure they put on us,” he said. “After half-time our structures fell away and we went away from our game plan and we were undisciplined. It made it hard for us to get the ball out of defence and maintain possession.
“There were some positive signs early. We really attacked the game and opposition but as the game wore on we got sucked towards the football and fell away from our structures.”
Drummond said the mental toll of seven straight losses to start the season was worrying but he had faith in the group.
“We're holding up as well as we could be,” he said.
“It's disappointing because in our four home games we've been in winnable positions at half-time or three-quarter time but we haven't done the job or handled the pressure of the game as well as we'd like.
“But the group's really strong. We're really enjoying the challenge of digging ourselves out of it.”
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