Dogs' flag hopes face crucial test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs' flag hopes face crucial test

By Sam Lienert 20/08/2009 05:03:23 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs midfielder Matthew Boyd says Friday night's clash with Geelong will have a big bearing on the club's AFL premiership hopes.

While the Bulldogs are currently sitting in fourth spot, if they lose their final two matches - against the Cats and Collingwood - they will most likely give up a finals doubles chance.

And Boyd acknowledges that on the evidence of history, their premiership hopes could go with it.

Adelaide, who came from fifth to win the flag in 1998, remain the only club to ever triumph from outside the top four, and the finals system has since changed to make it harder to repeat that feat.

"There's not many teams who have done it in the past 10 years," Boyd said.

"... You really do need that double chance and the home final if you can get it."

Aside from the crucial four points, Boyd says the way the `Dogs perform in their two big games before the finals will affect the state of mind they carry into September.

"The way we go about it, that's the most important part of it," he said.

"I know it's a cliche and everyone talks about getting the processes right, but that's exactly right.

"We played poorly against Fremantle (in round 19) and we won and we weren't happy about that performance and we came out the next week and it led into the (shock loss in the) West Coast game.

"You do have to get your structures and your processes right to be confident about how you're playing and that's what we're going to try to do on Friday night."

Making the Bulldogs task harder, they will be without two of their best midfielders - Daniel Cross and Ryan Griffen - due to injury.

But they managed to overcome Brisbane at the Gabba last round without that pair and Boyd was confident they could also cope with their absence against the Cats.

"If we have 22 blokes who are willing to do their job for the team then I think we can win," he said

"That's all you have to do is play your role for the team and the young blokes have been doing that and they want to do it because they want to stay in the side and play finals footy."

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