Opposition focus not a concern for Lions

Lincoln McCarthy says his own form needs to improve for the Lions.
Lincoln McCarthy says his own form needs to improve for the Lions.

Preventing complacency is a bigger concern for Brisbane forward Lincoln McCarthy than fears the Lions' gameplan has been found out by their AFL opponents.

Brisbane were outplayed in their opening pre-season fixture against Port Adelaide in Burpengary on Sunday, slumping to a 21-point defeat.

After a stellar 2019, the Lions season ended in three straight defeats including back-to-back finals losses at home.

Lions legend Jonathan Brown was commentating on Sunday's game for Fox Sports and repeatedly said the team's ball use was predictable and ponderous.

Brown said the lack of ball movement had been exposed by GWS in last year's semi-final at the Gabba and feared teams would have taken note heading into 2020.

McCarthy acknowledged the Lions will come under increased scrutiny after going from 15th in 2018 to second last year but said maintaining their own performance was the biggest challenge for the season ahead.

"We don't know what opposition teams are thinking about us," he said.

"We try not to look into it too much either but I definitely feel there's a bit more expectation on us to perform this year having jumped from 15th to second last year.

"It's hard to know what opposition teams are thinking, we've just got to prepare as best as we can and we have no complacency on board. All we can do is rock up and perform the best we can."

Having only picked up eight disposals in Sunday's match, McCarthy's own form needs to improve for the final pre-season clash with Carlton in a two weeks.

"Whilst only having a small amount of possessions isn't always reflective of your impact, it is a good measurement of how hard you've worked to outnumber at the ball," he said.

"Personally I wasn't up to scratch yesterday so that's something I'm always working on to try and contribute as much as possible."

Australian Associated Press