Premiership Tiger Kane Lambert keen for teammate Jayden Short to stay in midfield

The Tigers injected speed all over the ground into last week’s team that thumped West Coast and a triple premiership star liked one of the moves, in particular.

Fit-again Tiger Kane Lambert is keen for Jayden Short’s successful midfield experiment last Friday night to be explored further.

With former captain Trent Cotchin out and Dustin Martin still sidelined, coach Damien Hardwick sent sweet-kicking defender Short into the centre with spectacular results.

Short gathered a match-high 31 disposals – 27 of them kicks – to go with nine inside 50s, seven marks, seven score involvements, five clearances and almost 800m gained.

“I thought he was great. ‘Shorty’ is a great friend of mine and it’s great to see him coming on the way he does,” Lambert told Richmond’s website.

“He’s so lethal with his foot – by left or right – and he can hit targets, so going through the midfield is really good for him.

“I think it’s good for our team as well, (because) it gives us a bit of speed through the middle of the ground.”

Both Cotchin and Martin are expected to return for Saturday’s important clash with Collingwood at the MCG, meaning Short’s on-ball effort might be a one-off, especially with Lambert also back in the side.

But there is doubt about oft-injured prime mover Dion Prestia, who was subbed out of the 109-point thrashing of West Coast with achilles and soleus muscle tightness.

Lambert faced hip surgery and an extended lay-off at one stage this year but the Tigers’ high performance team, led by Peter Burge, chose a different route for him that began with a slow build-up in the VFL.

The triple premiership star compiled 22 disposals, five inside 50s and three clearances in his first match of the year.

“It was really good. It had been a long pre-season for me and there was a little bit of uncertainty about what it looked like,” he said.

“I returned in the VFL for a few games and it was good to get a run with the development boys there, but I’m really happy to be back in the senior squad.”

Richmond could snatch the Magpies’ top-eight spot if Damien Hardwick’s men can claim consecutive scalps for the first time this season after a dominant display at the Eagles’ expense.

“I think (the win was) important for our group,” Lambert said.

“There were processes that we needed to execute and we felt like we improved in those areas, but we’ve got to keep moving on.

“Collingwood is a good team, they’re fast and our old coach ‘Fly’ (Craig McRae) is there as well, so he knows us pretty well. It’s going to be a great contest on Saturday.”

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