Dogs on right track, says Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs on right track, says Eade

Guy Hand 13/05/2011 06:36:12 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs' AFL season looks like it's on the line against resurgent Richmond on Sunday.

Coach Rodney Eade says it's not.

After three successive losses, the top four regulars are languishing with a 2-4 win-loss record and face a Richmond side on a three-match winning streak.

But Eade believes the Bulldogs are a good team out of luck, rather than out of form.

"Season on the line is when you mathematically can't make it. We've only played six games, there's 16 games to go," he said.

"We've had some really good play - I think we've won as many quarters as Collingwood. We've got to aim for the consistency.

"The enthusiasm's there. The players have still got a spark. They've still got a spring in their step.

"We just need to hang tough. Teams go through this. Individuals go through this."

Eade has resisted the temptation to recall out-of-sorts key defender Brian Lake from his reserves exile, or give tall defender James Mulligan a debut to wrestle with the most obvious dilemma the Tigers present.

Instead versatile defender Dale Morris will be given the pivotal role of stopping the AFL's leading goalkicker Jack Riewoldt despite a height disadvantage.

Mulligan, young midfielder Mitch Wallis and utility Nathan Djerrkura have been omitted from the Dogs' extended 25-man squad.

Defender Ryan Hargrave will play his first match this season after training strongly on Friday at Whitten Oval.

While Barry Hall (ankle), Shaun Higgins (groin) and Tom Williams (ankle) would all miss the match, Hall and Higgins were back at training on Friday.

Richmond have an unchanged 22.

Meanwhile, Hawthorn have swung the axe ahead of their Sunday clash with St Kilda at the MCG, dropping three regulars in midfielders Rick Ladson and Clinton Young plus defender Xavier Ellis.

Ruckman Brent Renouf is also out with a hamstring injury.

The Hawks have promoted Michael Osborne and first-gamer Luke Breust, while ruckman David Hale and defender Matt Suckling return from injury.

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