Dogs still believe, says Dale Morris - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs still believe, says Dale Morris

Guy Hand 09/06/2011 05:52:03 PM Comments (0)

Wins are in short supply at the Western Bulldogs, but belief is not, according to defender Dale Morris.

Going into the match against St Kilda that will define both teams' AFL seasons, Morris said the Bulldogs were treating the game as a virtual June elimination final.

Top four teams last season, both have been overtaken by rivals and face missing the finals.

For one team that unpalatable prospect will be delayed by at least a week with four points in Friday night's clash at Etihad Stadium.

And Morris declared for his side, losing is not a viable option.

"We still believe, if the guys didn't believe I wouldn't want them out there," he said.

"We still believe we can win, we still believe we're a good team.

"Both clubs are in the same position.

"We're going to do everything we can to get the four points because they're becoming more and more precious."

The Dogs have lost six of their past seven matches, including the last three in a row, and must beat the Saints to have any chance of making the finals this year.

While key forward Barry Hall trained with his teammates on Thursday, coach Rodney Eade ruled out his return as he battles an ankle injury which has left his career in the balance.

Forward Josh Hill also won't play after a dismal performance against Geelong last weekend.

The nadir was a weak attempt to stand the mark late in the match for which he was castigated by commentators.

His axing is among six changes to the Bulldogs line-up, with Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney heading the queue coming in.

Cooney, who has been training every second day on a modified program to ease his return from injury, joins ruckman Ben Hudson, youngster Tom Liberatore and forward Brennan Stack to strengthen the Dogs' line-up.

Rookie-listed duo Luke Dahlhaus and Ed Barlow are set to make their Bulldogs debuts - Barlow having played previously at Sydney.

Defender Brian Lake is still being troubled by a knee problem and won't play.

Ryan Hargrave has an ankle injury, while James Mulligan, Jarrad Grant and Mitch Wallis have all been axed along with Hill.

St Kilda will be hit hard by the loss of midfield gun Leigh Montagna to a knee injury, though experienced rebounding defender Jason Gram returns.

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