Western Bulldogs senior coach Luke Beveridge is expecting Friday night’s match against Port Adelaide to have a finals-like feel about it.
A win will help the Bulldogs go a long way in securing a double-chance during the upcoming finals series, while a loss – pending other results – could see them slip to fifth on the ladder.
Beveridge said despite the disappointing results of the last two weeks, it’s important to remember how the group got themselves to this position.
“I think we’ve been a bit frustrated the last couple of weeks with each other – (those games) were high enough stakes to fortify our position on the ladder, and we haven’t been able to take that opportunity with Essendon and Hawthorn getting the better of us,” Beveridge told media via Zoom on Wednesday morning.
“We’ve got to move past that – (we think) this weekend now could be great for us. It’s a finals-like game before the finals.
“There’s a lot at stake, and we know how well Port Adelaide have been playing, and how formidable they have been in recent times.
“With some of their players coming back into that team and them moving towards what they consider their best mix, we’re coming up against a very, very good football side.
“If we put our best foot forward, it potentially does us a world of good.”
Beveridge said the group is relishing another opportunity to cement their spot in the top four, despite noise they have lost some credentials.
“We’re in a great position and in control of our own destiny – it would have been nice to have nailed a top four spot prior to this Friday night game, but the reality is that we haven’t been able to do it yet,” Beveridge said.
“We’re buoyed by the fact that we get another opportunity to nail it, and really make sure that we capitalise on the work that has already been done, and done by a lot of the players that have maybe been subject to some criticism.
“That’s what we don’t forget internally.”