Emotion not main driver: Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Emotion not main driver: Eade

By Guy Hand 08/09/2010 04:24:12 PM Comments (0)

As the Western Bulldogs' AFL finals campaign took another hit, coach Rodney Eade has ruled out playing up the emotion factor of Brad Johnson's impending retirement to save their season.

Midfielder Shaun Higgins' season was declared over on Wednesday - the Bulldogs aborting his short-lived return from a thyroid condition.

He joins star midfielder Adam Cooney in mothballs as well as defender Dale Morris - both of whom have season-ending injuries.

With just one unconvincing win in their past four matches and a sudden-death final looming against Sydney at the MCG on Saturday night, the Dogs have just one positive peg to hang their hat on.

But prolonging Johnson's decorated career all the way to the grand final won't be the key to turning around the Bulldogs' fortunes, according to Eade.

"We won't harp on it," Eade said.

"We're not into false motivation - if that's the right phrase. That'll be mentioned a little bit but it won't be the main driver.

"The main driver is play the way we've got to play. We've obviously let ourselves down the last four weeks.

"We've got to be able to bring that intensity around the ball and if we can do that, it gives us a chance of winning."

Higgins' disappointing performance in the Dogs' big qualifying final loss to Collingwood in his comeback match prompted medical staff to do further tests, then pull the plug immediately on his season.

"Obviously there's still some residual effect - you could see how he ran on the weekend. He didn't have that speed or energy," Eade said.

"They've done another test and it's best to shelve it. That's it for the year."

Eade said utility Easton Wood was likely to come into the side this weekend as Higgins' replacement if he proved he had recovered from a hamstring injury.

Defender Tom Williams left training early at the MCG on Wednesday.

But he is believed to be a certain starter against the Swans despite soreness from a heavy collision with teammate Brian Lake in the Collingwood match.

Onballer Ryan Griffen also trained freely and Eade said he was set to play despite concerns over his knee.

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