Dogs start soul-searching after Swans loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs start soul-searching after Swans loss

Crystal Ja 07/05/2011 07:00:10 PM Comments (0)

Just seven rounds into the AFL season might seem a bit early to be soul-searching for some but not for Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade.

The coach is demanding answers after three tough, mentally-fatiguing and question-raising losses in a row.

On Saturday, the 'Dogs went down to Sydney 10.13 (73) to 10.5 (65) at Canberra's Manuka Oval after a brave, but unsuccessful last quarter fightback.

It comes after a win that should have been two weeks ago against Fremantle, and a demoralising last-quarter blowout against the Magpies last weekend.

Before the Sydney game, Eade had repeatedly raised the point that consistency was vital, but it was a call his men failed to answer.

Now facing a resurgent Richmond at Etihad Stadium next Sunday, he said players needed to ask themselves if they were up to the challenge.

"The previous two (games), we've worked hard for longer periods. For this one, we just didn't work hard enough for long enough," he told reporters after the match.

"We need to find players who are going to do that."

Eade hinted strongly that major changes were in store in coming weeks, adding he had yet to find his dream line-up for 2011.

"Last year's form and last year's reputation mean nothing," he said.

"That's not an issue, that's gone.

"It's no good playing players who were in the best team last year.

"They've got to be able to perform.

"Obviously we've still got to rework that and rejig that, so that's what we'll find out in the next month or so."

He said he wouldn't be afraid of making "statement" decisions, saying he'd done just that by dropping two-time all-Australian defender Brian Lake to the VFL.

"We made a statement with Brian," he said.

"If they can't play the role or do what they're expected to do, we've just got to find the people that can."

With Barry Hall and Shaun Higgins both likely to return from injury next week, senior spots will be even more competitive.

Eade could be turning to youth as an option, with the Bulldogs having blooded four debutantes this season, including Zeph Skinner on Saturday.

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