Crows caught napping, says Doughty - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows caught napping, says Doughty

By Daniel Brettig 07/04/2010 09:23:36 AM Comments (0)

Adelaide's senior tagger Michael Doughty has admitted the Crows were caught napping in their first two AFL matches of 2010, saying other sides have improved more than expected.

When the Crows first saw their draw for this season, an opening trio against Fremantle, Sydney and Melbourne would have looked agreeable.

But no-one is smiling now that the club have dropped their first two games while nursing a host of injured or underdone players.

Captain Simon Goodwin is in doubt for the date with the Demons at the MCG on Sunday due to a corked knee, a match now far more significant for Adelaide than anyone could have expected a fortnight ago.

Doughty said the Dockers and the Swans had surprised with their level of intensity and their systems, an unexpected admission from a club that considers itself one of the league's best prepared.

"We've seen a greater level of improvement from sides this year and our standard hasn't been anywhere near the mark we set ourselves for," said Doughty.

"We take responsibility for that as players, but we know our best is good enough.

"We showed in parts on the weekend that we can control the game, but when you get a seven-goal blow out in the second quarter it hurts your confidence."

Doughty asserted the high level of flowing football played by Adelaide at the end of 2009 was good enough to beat anyone.

But that had been achieved with a settled side, something the Crows do not currently have and won't if they continue to suffer injuries at the current rate.

Ruckman James Sellar is already out of Sunday's match and may yet be joined by Goodwin.

"We won't use injuries as an excuse, but they do affect your balance and your ability to get guys out there training together," Doughty said.

"It's showing in games that our intensity is not consistent compared to last year when we went into the finals series and everyone was up and about.

"We haven't had that consistency of blokes out on the park and we're a bit up and down at the moment."

Former captain Mark Ricciuto has suggested opting for a simpler, less-zone oriented game-style until the Crows get a little more settled, but Doughty politely disagreed.

"We're losing centre bounces, clearances and our intensity around the ball (is down)," he said.

"It's not just one area (the zone) that we're falling down in, it's numerous areas, so if we can get a few of them right you'll see our performances change."

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