Swans over mental hurdle in fight for AFL finals berth
Fortunate as they were in victory, Chad Warner feels Sydney's lucky escape against North Melbourne helped the injury-hit side overcome a "massive mental barrier".
And the midfielder believes it could be the catalyst for a surge towards the AFL finals as the Swans gear up for a crunch clash with Carlton on Friday night.
A crucial interchange infringement gifted Sydney their three-point win over the lowly Kangaroos - just their second victory since round two.
But it lit a fire under John Longmire's men after four consecutive defeats.
"Definitely a massive mental barrier for us has been broken now," Warner told AAP.
"To keep fighting and stick to what we know works shows maturity, especially after getting run over the previous couple of weeks.
"Wins like that are definitely what motivates all the boys.
"It shows us that we can do it and we can come back, especially when we'd lost four games in a row before.
"Hopefully we can really kick-start our season from here."
Sydney's tall stocks have been decimated by injury this season, the horror run playing a key role in a 4-6 start to the campaign after last year's grand final appearance.
Ruck Peter Ladhams is the latest big man to go down, sustaining serious ankle ligament damage.
He joins fellow talls Joel Amartey (hamstring), Paddy McCartin (concussion), Tom McCartin (concussion), Logan McDonald (ankle), Dane Rampe (neck) and Sam Reid (hamstring) on a long injury list.
Swans co-captain Callum Mills (calf) is also sidelined and none of those players are expected back until the second half of the season.
"Teams go through ups and downs all the time and that's just what's happening to us at the moment," Warner said.
"We're strong enough characters and we're a strong enough club and culture that we can get through it.
"I reckon we'll be contending right when the whips are cracking."
Warner and fellow midfielder Luke Parker, who produced an inspirational captain's display, were crucial contributors in dragging Sydney over the line against North Melbourne.
But the Swans were belted 47-27 in clearances, including 15-4 in the final quarter after Ladhams went down and left debutant Lachlan McAndrew to take on Kangaroos veteran Todd Goldstein in the ruck.
Warner is relishing the prospect of taking on a Carlton midfield led by Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh, with both sides' on-ball divisions under pressure to perform.
"They've got some big names in the midfield but we're back at home and hopefully we can keep this momentum going," Warner said.
"We've got a lot of work to do though and we'll keep improving from here."