Dogs' skills let us down, Lake says - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs' skills let us down, Lake says

By Sam Lienert 19/09/2010 11:52:23 AM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs defender Brian Lake says the AFL club's reputation as a highly-skilled side needs revisiting following their failed finals campaign.

The star fullback said it was the Dogs' finishing, rather than ball-winning, that had dropped away under pressure in big games, including Saturday night's preliminary final loss to St Kilda.

Lake said it was the key issue that had to be fixed for the club to take the next step, after three straight preliminary final exits.

"Our disposal this week, even the last five or six weeks, our disposal inside 50 and even our hands just weren't good enough," Lake said.

"The hardness and stuff like that, we've got that, it's just the finishing off skills that we've got to improve.

"We're known as one of the skilful sides and under a little bit of pressure our skills drop away, so no doubt that will be one thing to be worked on in the off-season."

But Lake said the Dogs could still take pride in the way they battled out the season in the face of untimely injuries to key players.

"Obviously you don't want to make excuses, but when you lose some of your top players in Adam Cooney, and (Dale) Morris for three or four weeks as well, it's not necessarily the best scenario you want going into finals," he said.

"The good sides, look at Collingwood, they've got no injuries at the moment at the right time of the year, so things like that are just luck.

"But even that, the guys who were out there (against the Saints), we were able to win the ball, but we just weren't able to finish it off."

Lake said one big positive was the amount of young players who experienced finals football.

"With the injuries, a lot of young guys have got opportunities and Jarrad Grant, even Tommy Williams to a point, he's played most of the season this year, got over his injury problems," Lake said.

"Easton Wood as well, we've had some of our best players out injured, but it's given some of these guys a taste of footy, even (Andrew) Hooper last week.

"You want that going into next season, just with depth pushing the 22 players on the field to keep improving."

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