Yze says Martin ‘really engaged’ before Dreamtime game

Amid Adem Yze’s many problems this week, the Richmond coach is confident Dusty Martin’s mindset ahead of the AFL Dreamtime At The ‘G blockbuster doesn’t feature.

With Martin three games away from the 300 milestone and his seven-year contract ending this season, there is plenty of talk around the media-shy Tigers star.

Richmond will have to decide whether to rest him for a game, so his 300th will be at the MCG in mid-June against Hawthorn, rather than in Adelaide against the Crows the week before.

Yze said on Friday “we’re dealing with a bit” as the Tigers come off two heavy losses and a deep casualty list ahead of Saturday night’s annual clash with Essendon at the MCG.

But he is confident whatever is going in Martin’s world, the Tigers star will be ready.

“All we can base it on is how he’s walking around the footy club and how he’s training – yesterday he trained really well,” Yze said.

“Not only is putting the work into himself, he’s putting the work into our younger players as well.

“He’s walking around with a smile on his face and he’s really engaged…hopefully he gets some reward out on the field.”

Dustin Martin looks to get Richmond into attack against the Western Bulldogs. (Rob Prezioso/AAP PHOTOS)

Richmond will regain vice-captain Liam Baker as they try to rebound from bad losses to the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions.

“Against the ‘Dogs it was all three phases, we got smashed at stoppage and clearance,” Yze said.

“On the weekend, we gave the ball back. To give up 100 points on turnover just isn’t us, so we looked at that really honestly – just some clarity around our ball movement, decisions we’re making with the ball and what we should be thinking.

“We’ve worked really hard on it this week. There will still be teething problems with that, with some younger players in the team, but we just have to limit how many times we give the ball back.”

Yze called on his players to respond to the occasion, despite winning only once this season.

“The Tiger army, they follow through thick and thin and that’s what we expect – but we expect to play better footy and put on a better performance,” he said.

Disappointed Tigers players leave the MCG after their Bulldogs loss. (Rob Prezioso/AAP PHOTOS)

“All we can do is respond, and no better opportunity than in front of a big crowd.”

Regardless of their injuries, Yze said the Tigers must not go away from how they expect to play.

“It can take its toll, but we expect our players to perform – obviously effort and intensity, and play the right way,” he said.

“There was some stuff last week that just wasn’t us and hopefully we can rectify that this weekend.”

The Tigers also recalled Seth Campbell and Samson Ryan.

Essendon’s Jordan Ridley is back for his first game of the season, Nik Cox returns from illness and Nate Caddy has been named for his AFL debut.

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