Western Bulldogs leader Taylor Duryea says while the team is continually searching for their best, they feel the frustrations of recent on-field results.

The Bulldogs will be keen to bounce back after a narrow loss to Hawthorn at the weekend, with their first opportunity to do so this Sunday afternoon against West Coast.

“I don’t want to discredit Hawthorn by saying it was a lapse – they beat Collingwood the week before and are actually playing some really good football. From our point of view, it’s really disappointing to get that result given where we are at in our push to make finals,” Duryea told media on Tuesday morning.

“It’s another close loss which is the biggest thing that has hurt us this year. Having (those losses) under a goal – it becomes the ‘what ifs?’, that if they went our way things would look different.


“Essentially destiny is still in our hands, and we are still in the eight currently.

“We have West Coast to worry about this week – that’s all we can do. We’re not in a position to look any further than that.”

Duryea said there hasn’t been one standalone factor to the close losses this season - which can be frustrating to rectify - but empathises with the fans and members regardless.

“I think you’d find that each game we’ve lost that we’ve maybe been in control of – there’s probably differing reasons which is the frustrating thing,” he said.

“It’s not like there is one thing that we can look at and say that was it – each week it seems to change. That’s probably the biggest frustration.

“We, as players, definitely believe in the system that puts us in games all the time. Except for maybe the first couple of rounds in the year, we feel like we could have won all of our games.

“From that point of view, I think as players knowing that we are in games and can push sides – we can take confidence from that.

Duryea has played 19 matches so far in 2023, his second-highest season total since joining the Bulldogs in 2019 (Photo: AFL Photos)

“It’s just about executing that, which is the frustration I know for us and obviously for our fans as well.

“It is in our hands and we are a really tight-knit group, but I think one of the strengths of this group is how united we are and how close we are. We’ve had some adversity this year with lots of guys going down with injury, but I’ve felt like we managed that really well.

“We continue to search for our best – I don’t think we’re that far away. All it takes is one game to click and more moments.”