Coach shrugs off finals talk for Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coach shrugs off finals talk for Demons

By Guy Hand 27/06/2011 07:02:41 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey has banished talk of finals despite his AFL side's rise into the top eight.

Bailey says consistency and winning matches remain his side's main motivators and, if they achieve those things, their eventual ladder position will take care of itself.

The Demons beat fellow finals aspirants Richmond at the weekend and can take a huge step towards cementing a top eight spot by beating the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

"You can write whatever you like (about finals), we're worried about this Friday night," Bailey said.

"At the end of round 24 ... we'll talk about where we finish.

"We haven't got a great record at Etihad, we're playing against a very good football club, and we've got a great challenge. Let's think about Friday night first."

To clock up their third victory in a row, the Demons must overcome what appears an Etihad Stadium hoodoo.

The Demons, who play home matches at the MCG, have lost 10 games in a row at the indoor venue.

But their current streak stretches back before many of the current players and includes the club's dark period of 2007 to 2009, before 2010's improvement.

"I'm not too sure how many of our players have lost games at Etihad," Bailey said.

"There's a few that have played maybe one or two games there, but we don't play a lot of footy at Etihad.

"We're a club that's gone 16th, 16th and 12th (in the past three years).

"When you're finishing where we have I'm not sure any stats over the last three years would look promising for us."

"It's a ground that should suit us. It's a quick track so that will suit us as well. I don't see any reason we can't be competitive."

Bailey expects defender Joel Macdonald to be available and rates utility Luke Tapscott a "50-50 chance".

Macdonald has a knee problem, while Tapscott has been out for several weeks with a hamstring injury.

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