Toothless Tigers must improve: Bowden - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Toothless Tigers must improve: Bowden

By Adam Cooper 31/03/2009 03:52:02 PM Comments (0)

The Richmond veteran Joel Bowden says the Tigers just want to be competitive this weekend, and admits changes might be needed at the AFL club if they're not.

Bowden's frank assessment was not, however, meant as a warning to coach Terry Wallace, who will be out of a job if the Tigers fail to reach the finals in 2009.

Instead Bowden put the onus on himself and his team-mates to put in a better effort against Geelong on Saturday than in last Thursday's season opener, in which they were humiliated by Carlton.

"Perhaps if we're not competitive maybe there's changes made to personnel or changes made to the structure or the system that we're trying to implement," he said on Tuesday.

Richmond's nightmare start - in which they were thrashed by 83 points on a massive stage and lost Ben Cousins and Andrew Raines to injury - heaped pressure on Wallace and the players, who are out to reach the club's first finals series since 2001.

Bowden said the Tigers had to learn fast how to respond in the best way even though the Cats at Skilled Stadium represent one of the game's most formidable assignments.

"Football is a very, very hard game and someone once said footy's about 90 per cent mental and only 10 per cent physical," he said.

"This week against Geelong we need to go in with a very, very strong mindset that we're going to go hard at the ball and play our role.

"Everyone has to play their role, from the most senior to the most junior player, they're going to have to do better, myself included ... we have to make sure we're competitive because last week we weren't competitive."

Bowden said the mood at the club was still a positive one, although he had adopted a bunker-down approach by steering clear of newspapers, radio and television for the week.

So Bowden said he was unaware of comments made by Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, who made the link between the Richmond coaching job and Kevin Sheedy.

"You know what, I missed that one," Bowden said.

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