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Coach convinced Crows back on track

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  May 28, 2017 12:32 AM

Pyke 'Best we've played for a month' Adelaide coach Don Pyke thrilled with his side's early energy and the return of Josh Jenkins
It's the best we've played for a month

Adelaide has overcome mid-season turbulence to get its 2017 campaign back on track, coach Don Pyke says.

Saturday night's 100-point annihilation of sixth-placed Fremantle follows on from an 80-point belting of the lowly Brisbane Lions.

The Crows won six straight games to start the year before shock losses to North Melbourne and Melbourne halted their momentum.

"It's the best we've played for a month," Pyke said.

"We played some really strong, powerful footy early in the year.

"But certainly in the last month, that's back to the way we want to play, in all phases of the game.

"I thought we were really strong all night."

The Crows jumped out of the blocks against the Dockers and had an amazing 19 straight inside 50s at one stage in the first quarter.

Utility Andy Otten booted a career-high four goals and impressed with his contested marking.

More known as a key defender, Otten has made up for lost time in his return from the AFL wilderness.

His outstanding form in attack gives Pyke a selection headache once Mitch McGovern returns from a hamstring injury later in the season.

"That's going to be a nice problem to have," Pyke said.

"Otten has been going well down there.

"He competes, that's what we're after.

"When the ball goes forward and we had opportunities to take it forward, he's prepared to compete in the air and on the ground, which is what we want from our forwards."

Pyke was happy with fellow forward Josh Jenkins in his first game back after he was dropped to the SANFL last week.

Former basketballer Hugh Greenwood was also a solid contributor in his second game, racking up 11 possessions and spending more time in the midfield.

Greenwood – who played junior football in Tasmania - has come a long way since signing with the Crows as a Category B rookie at the start of last year.

"His development has been phenomenal," Pyke said.

"He's come from playing basketball at the University of New Mexico to playing AFL footy.

"He had a background and a history in it, but the transition to playing on a 30m court to playing on a 180m field took some time, but he's done the work and he's getting the reward for the effort he's put in."

The Crows now turn their focus to facing an in-form Geelong side at Simonds Stadium on Friday night.

"It's another great test, this competition just keeps throwing them up," Pyke said.

"We recover from tonight, we have six days into Geelong down there, so we've got to make sure we're ready for that.

"They're playing some good footy and it's another big test."