Water off a duck's back as Jackson braces to face Dees
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir is backing a "care free" Luke Jackson to thrive when the prized recruit confronts his former side in Saturday's clash with Melbourne.
Jackson played an important role in helping the Demons win the flag in 2021 before joining the Dockers at the end of last year on a long-term deal reportedly worth $900,000 a season.
The 21-year-old struggled in his first few games for Freo, but his return to top form has coincided with their impressive three-match winning streak.
Jackson is sure to get plenty of boos when he returns to the MCG on Saturday, but Longmuir is confident the emerging star will be able to handle anything thrown his way.
"It will be water off a duck's back with Luke," Longmuir told reporters on Wednesday.
"He's taken every challenge in its stride. He's taken criticism in his stride. It doesn't seem to faze him too much.
"He's a pretty resilient, composed character. He's carefree and he focuses on the future, not the past.
"There's always a little bit of anxiety around playing your old team and teammates.
"But he'll prepare himself the same way he has been preparing, and go out there and compete his backside off and cop whatever he cops."
Jackson took just one mark and booted 0.2 across the opening two rounds.
But he has rebounded strongly over the past two months, booting 12.7 in the past eight matches while averaging 3.5 marks a game.
Jackson has combined well with fellow spearheads Jye Amiss and Josh Treacy in attack in recent weeks, helping Fremantle post wins over Hawthorn, Sydney and Geelong.
His combination with Sean Darcy in the ruck has also been crucial in the Dockers' resurgence, and the pair will be given a stern test against Melbourne's All-Australian duo Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy.
The Demons will enter Saturday's match without Clayton Oliver after the star midfielder injured his hamstring in last week's four-point loss to Port Adelaide.
Lachie Hunter will also miss after failing to overturn his one-match suspension at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.
Star Fremantle veteran Nat Fyfe has been given the green light to play out the entire match against Melbourne after making a strong recovery from a foot injury.
Fyfe made late cameos as the sub in wins over the Hawks and Swans, and he played almost three quarters in last week's triumph over the Cats long before being subbed out.
"We don't feel like we need to sub him out this week," Longmuir said.
The 31-year-old spent long stints in the midfield last week, and he's expected to play a similar role against the Demons.
"We want him where he can help the team. Treacy and Amiss have shown we can use Fyfe in the midfield more," Longmuir added.