AAP AFL

Resilient Swans up for tough AFL run home

By AAP Newswire

Sydney's AFL run home won't get any easier but a resilient win over Melbourne has coach John Longmire confident his players are up for the fight.

The Swans were reduced to two men on the bench at quarter-time of Sunday's clash with the Demons at the MCG but prevailed by nine points to climb to sixth on the ladder.

Injuries don't get much more deflating than when Alex Johnson, playing just his second game since the 2012 grand final, suffered a suspected torn ACL, which leaves him facing a potentially career-ending sixth reconstruction.

Fellow backman Nick Smith was also ruled out at quarter-time with a hamstring issue.

But the Swans remained focused on the task at hand and put the more-fancied Demons away in a performance that suggests they're just as ready for September action as Swans line-ups before them.

A bullish Longmire said his side held no fear as they prepared to face third-placed GWS next week and fourth-placed Hawthorn in round 23.

"We're confident in what we can do," he said.

"It doesn't get easier from here. We played a good team on their home deck today and we play a really, really good team next week.

"You want to be in a situation when you've got two games to go and you control your own destiny. It's in front of us and it's a good spot to be in."

Longmire was full of praise for young gun Isaac Heeney, who stood tall with several clutch marks after being sent down back in the final quarter, and Tom McCartin for his key supporting role to Lance Franklin in his debut season.

The Swans have a well-earned reputation as a team capable of thriving when the chips are down but Longmire was paying little heed to external assessments.

"A couple of weeks ago the reputation wasn't that good so it changes pretty quickly ... but your self-belief needs to stay there," Longmire said.

"Reputation and self-belief are two different things and we've got to just keep working on our self-belief and be confident in what we do and how we go about it."