Co-captain Kirk urges Swans to be bold - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Co-captain Kirk urges Swans to be bold

By Greg Buckle 27/07/2008 12:38:26 PM Comments (0)

Co-captain Brett Kirk says Sydney need to adopt a "bold" game plan if they want to overcome injury and form concerns and hold a spot in the AFL's top four.

Midfielder Adam Goodes, who is battling groin soreness and a jarred hip, has already been ruled out of next Sunday's clash with second-placed Western Bulldogs at Canberra's Manuka Oval.

The dual Brownlow Medallist gathered only eight possessions in Sydney's 11.11 (77) to 6.17 (53) loss to Adelaide at the SCG on Saturday night.

Halfback Nick Malceski was a late withdrawal with a calf-muscle injury and Kirk said on Sunday the fourth-placed Swans desperately needed the creative left-footer back in the side to take on the Bulldogs.

Full forward Michael O'Loughlin is set to miss several more weeks with an ankle injury while fullback Leo Barry, who didn't play against the Crows because of a hamstring strain, is an outside chance to play in Canberra.

Tall forward Henry Playfair suffered a hamstring injury against Adelaide leaving Barry Hall carrying a huge burden of expectation - just what the troubled forward doesn't need after a series of dramas this season.

Hall was held to one goal in his comeback match from a two-game club ban for anger-management counselling. The three-time All-Australian has been handed seven-match and one-match suspensions by the AFL Tribunal this year for striking offences.

"We have been up and down with our form and now with some serious injuries to some key players, you don't really want to limp into the finals," Kirk told reporters on Sunday.

"We were lucky enough that teams around us (top-four contenders Collingwood, Brisbane and St Kilda) have fallen as well.

"We have just become very predictable. We play into their hands.

"We just chipped the ball back to them.

"We talked about taking risks and yeah, we weren't bold with the footy.

"He (Malceski) is one of those guys who can take a risk, go through the corridor and be one of our rebounding defenders and give us some real run.

"He's one who uses the ball really well so if we can get him back in the team it should help us."

Swans coach Paul Roos says the biggest challenge for Sydney is to pick a healthy side.

"You'd be mad if you put him (Goodes) on the ground next week. He couldn't compete at all," Roos said.

"It's frustrating for him. He's a great player. It's a little bid sad to watch."

Roos says he expects Hall will improve on his Adelaide form with more game-time.

Kirk has urged Hall's teammates need to rally around the club's six-time leading goalkicker and former skipper.

"I think there's going to be expectation there anyway (on Hall) but other guys just have to take up the load around him," Kirk said.

The Swans have 10 wins, six losses and a draw but significantly their losses have come against finals contenders Geelong, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Adelaide.

"We are probably (in the top four) by default," Roos said.

"There's probably a gap there between the top three teams (Geelong, Bulldogs and Hawthorn) and the rest."

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