Sizzling Eagles target AFL top-four finish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sizzling Eagles target AFL top-four finish

Justin Chadwick 11/07/2011 01:08:25 PM Comments (0)

West Coast's players have set their sights on crashing into the AFL top-four following confidence-boosting wins over premiership contenders Geelong and Carlton.

The fifth-placed Eagles sit just two points adrift of fourth-placed Carlton, ahead of Saturday night's tricky clash with a resurgent St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.

Although West Coast coach John Worsfold has been quick to publicly play down his team's premiership chances, the player group are taking the opposite approach.

Midfielder Matt Rosa said the club's 36-point win over Carlton and eight-point triumph over Geelong prove the Eagles deserve to be considered a top-four team.

"(Those wins) definitely gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of belief that we can finish in the top four," Rosa said.

"That's definitely something we can aim to do now.

"And if you finish in the top four, it gives you a really good chance of having a crack at winning some finals games and maybe getting a game at home.

"It would be great for our fans if we do get to play a home final, just have a crack at it over here."

Worsfold's coaching career appeared destined for a limp end after guiding West Coast last year to the wooden spoon.

But the 2006 premiership coach's remarkable transformation of the team is set to earn him a new two or three-year deal at the end of the season.

"He's stuck with all the boys and backed everyone in and it's amazing what can happen when the coach gives players belief and backs them in all the time," Rosa said.

"He's been great and, hopefully, he's here for a long time."

Despite West Coast's run of five straight wins, Rosa said the group are on guard against a fast-improving St Kilda unit, who have won five of their past seven games to move back to within striking distance of the top eight.

"We really set ourselves for those two games (against Carlton and Geelong) but we realise St Kilda are starting to get back into some great form, so it's going to be a massive challenge this weekend," Rosa said.

"We've just got to knuckle down and make sure we bring that same intensity this week."

Eagles' forward Quinten Lynch will return against the Saints after serving his one-match suspension, while defenders Mitch Brown and Beau Waters are also in the hunt for recalls after solid performances in the WAFL.

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