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Bulldogs bullish about Friday night battle

Senior coach Luke Beveridge says playing Geelong in a Friday night blockbuster at Marvel Stadium is an exciting proposition.

Senior coach Luke Beveridge says playing Geelong in a Friday night blockbuster at Marvel Stadium is an exciting proposition.

The Bulldogs find themselves in eighth position on the ladder after 11 rounds – sneaking into the top eight for the first time this season after a triple-figure win over West Coast.

Beveridge said coming up against other sides that sit in a similar ball-park to his Bulldogs will be a great indicator of where they are at.

“Being in that mix now is important for us after an inauspicious start to the year - it still remains to be seen who makes a play, but it’s an exciting proposition to play against the Cats on Friday night considering they’re sixth and we’re eighth,” he told media on Thursday morning.

11:52 Mins
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Luke Beveridge | 'Our guys are really looking forward to it'

Luke Beveridge speaks to the media ahead of the Friday night clash with Geelong.

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“I know our guys are really looking forward to it.

“As I’ve said before, you’ve got to re-establish yourself – at the halfway mark I feel like we’re starting to re-emerge.

“What that means on Friday night – hopefully it’s really encouraging – but the proposition of playing teams that are ahead of us and around us, and could influence where we end up at the end of the whole thing, is perfect.”

The Bulldogs have dealt with their fair share of injury misfortunes this season, meaning a number of changes to the make-up of their team each week.

Despite this, Beveridge said he was particularly pleased with his side’s ability to score and win games as of late.

“If you go into the detail around our form line, we’ve dropped some games no doubt, but our system and template, and the way we want to play – besides some momentum swings where it was compromised here and there – we’ve been pretty consistent in a few areas,” he said.

“I’ve been so encouraged by what our forwards have been able to do - when you consider how much that’s changed, Aaron Naughton has just been such a goliath down there. He’s been the one consistent key forward as far as being there – everything else around him has changed, other than probably our inside mids who have played a bit of forward time.

“Whether that settles down a bit just depends on injury and form, but to be able to kick over 100 points four or five times, and to have our percentage look the way it is having dropped five games, means we’re doing a fair bit right.”

Beveridge confirmed midfielder Bailey Smith will return to the line-up after missing last weekend’s game through illness.

The Bulldogs will announce their team of 22 tonight at 6.20pm.

McLean and Thorpe return to VU Whitten Oval

“It’s good to be home.”
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