Lake faces AFL mental hurdle: Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lake faces AFL mental hurdle: Eade

Greg Buckle 04/06/2011 07:47:45 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs defender Brian Lake saved himself from a complete disaster with a three-goal effort in the last quarter of Saturday's 61-point AFL loss to Geelong.

The reigning All-Australian full-back has struggled badly in 2011 and is low on confidence because of a knee problem, according to coach Rodney Eade.

With the Cats running wild at Skilled Stadium on their way to a 23.10 (148) to 13.9 (87) win, Eade had little option but to move Lake forward in the third quarter on Saturday.

"At three-quarter time, he was probably at the crossroads a bit," Eade said.

"We moved him forward because he was poor down back. We had to do something there.

"At three-quarter time, we were a bit worried. So his three in the last quarter, hopefully that gives him confidence.

"He saved himself a bit.

"It's as much a mental issue as it is anything else with Brian, as is confidence and his attack on it.

"I just don't think he's got confidence in his knee. It seems to me he's worrying about getting it knocked again.

"You can see he's apprehensive. It's a subconscious thing. I don't think he's consciously thinking about it.

"In that last quarter, he led well and took a couple of marks and he looked okay, so whether that's a turning point for him?"

Accused by critics of being lazy, Eade said Lake's work rate on the track had been good.

"I still think it's that mental hurdle he has got to overcome to get confidence in his leg," Eade said.

The Bulldogs have slumped to a 3-7 win-loss record with their sixth loss in the seven matches.

Eade said a revolving-door policy on selection would continue until the team could produce consistency of effort.

"I haven't given up hope. Next week is probably the crunch, as much as anything," Eade said of next Friday night's clash with St Kilda at the MCG.

"So we'll keep blooding kids even if it's the crunch game or the turning point or whatever phrase you want to use.

"We've played six debutants now. We'll play some more.

"Some players who have been here for a while just aren't putting their hands up, so we've got to turf them out and find people who are.

"(Daniel) Giansiracusa did that today (with five goals) and a few other senior players were terrific and other guys haven't done that."

Eade said he expected to have onballers Tom Liberatore and Adam Cooney back from injury next week.

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