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Lower's higher challenge

Press Conference: Brendan McCartney (15 May 13) Watch Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney speak to the media ahead of the Club's clash with Gold Coast in round 8. Hear about McCartney's thoughts on the bump rules and the return of Brett Goodes.
Nick Lower after a goal during the 2013 AFL round 02 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 06, 2013. (Photo: Andrew White/AFL Media)
Nick Lower after a goal during the 2013 AFL round 02 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 06, 2013. (Photo: Andrew White/AFL Media)

Western Bulldogs midfielder Nick Lower is readying himself for the AFL's version of scaling Mount Everest – stopping Gary Ablett when the Dogs take on Gold Coast on Saturday.

Lower looms as the best man for the job, after setting a new club record of 15 tackles when he took on North's Andrew Swallow last weekend.

That effort surpasses the previous marker of 12 tackles set by club captain Matthew Boyd, and was just four short of Jude Bolton's AFL record of 19 tackles in round three 2011.

But Ablett is in red-hot form, with 38 disposals against Melbourne on Sunday, and coach Dogs Brendan McCartney is aware of the threat he poses.

"He's a difficult little man to stop for any club and any team, and that's the challenge for us," he said on Wednesday.

"It's difficult to stop his volume but it's restricting the quality. Jobe Watson's probably in the same bucket, Scott Pendlebury at times; they're really difficult, and Patty Dangerfield has jumped into that category as well.

"The players that explode and open the game up, they're there, and they're a difficult assignment. Gary can do that, but the volume is difficult. We've just got to restrict how effective he is."

Melbourne coach Mark Neeld spoke about the physical pressure the Suns heaped on his men in round seven, but the Bulldogs believe they are prepared for that challenge.

"We'll be OK with it I think, but they've improved significantly in all those areas. They've hardened up really well around the ball, and they're hanging onto the ball a bit better so they're actually learning to deal with the tempo of the game.

"We know we're playing a talented young team, and we're going to have to play well to get the result."

Brett Goodes is free to return to the side after serving his two-match suspension.