We can make AFL finals - Bulldogs star - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We can make AFL finals - Bulldogs star

Robert Grant 16/06/2011 05:56:19 PM Comments (0)

Robert Murphy, a rare shining light in a dark AFL season for the Western Bulldogs, admits their finals hopes will be extinguished if they fail to beat Adelaide on Friday night.

Murphy, who lines up for his 200th game in the Etihad Stadium encounter, says the Bulldogs are on a knife-edge as they struggle to build on their paltry three wins in a season that promised so much.

"It feels like it's been like that for a few weeks but certainly this is a huge game for us," Murphy said.

"We've been pretty disappointing up until now but hopefully we can start it Friday night and get something going."

Things are no better for the Crows, who sit a spot below the Dogs on percentage in 14th spot with the pressure mounting on opposing coaches Rodney Eade and Neil Craig.

Murphy said that because of the high expectations, this season had been one of his toughest with the Bulldogs.

"Earlier in my career we had some really lean times but the expectation was pretty low," he said.

However he remains adamant the side can still play a part in September.

"This year has been pretty disappointing but the nature of football in a club like this, you're pretty optimistic," he said.

"There's a fair bit of footy to go.

"There's too much to do and we've got too much on and there's too many games left to get too down in the mouth.

"We still think that if we can get on a roll then we can trouble most sides."

Eade was very tempted to bring back key forward Barry Hall but opted for a safety-first approach.

However Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney has been recalled, after being a late withdrawal last week against St Kilda.

"Adam will play but Barry won't - we just think another week is better for his match fitness and his touch," Eade said.

"He's trained very well this week and we were tempted but we've had a plan and we'll stick to that plan and Barry will play next week."

Defender Brian Lake will remain in the VFL for at least a week or two.

"It's a big corner but I think Brian has just slowly turned that corner with his confidence in his legs," Eade said.

Brent Reilly (bone bruising on the knee) has been added to the Crows' long injury list but full-forward Kurt Tippett has been named to take on the Dogs despite hurting a shoulder last week.

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