Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli says bouncing back from Saturday’s defeat to Hawthorn will be critical.
In an uncharacteristic performance, the Bulldogs managed just 35 inside 50s and four centre clearances against the Hawks at UTAS Stadium.
“Especially around the ball we couldn’t get enough momentum,” Bontempelli told westernbulldogs.com.au post-match.
“From a skill level, the Hawthorn boys definitely had us covered, and even probably fundamentals in general - whether that be ground balls, being able to keep the ball (inside 50) and contain it, and their ability to move the ball.
“We couldn’t really get a grasp on one particular part of the game at any one point, other than the start of that third quarter where we got a bit of momentum.
"There’ll be a fair bit to look at in reflection.”
The Bulldogs are now just holding onto a top four spot, with a home clash against Port Adelaide next week to determine where they finish.
A win would seal a top four spot, while a loss would open the door to the Brisbane Lions to pounce.
Bontempelli said they’ve got to make the most of the position they’ve put themselves in.
“Obviously we have one week to go now and there’s still a fair bit on the line for us,” he said.
“We’ve got to continue to surge and search for our best no matter what sort of position we’re in, and to not take the work that we’ve put in so far to this point for granted.
“We want to build some momentum going into finals, so (the loss) is a tough one to have to swallow. It’s an opportunity that we’ve missed out on.
“We’ve got to remember what we’re capable of, and process what will get us back to playing our best team football.”