Luke Beveridge is taking a “glass half full” approach to the Western Bulldogs’ start to 2020, on the back of disappointing defeats to St Kilda and Collingwood.
“We’ve got to remain glass half full,” Beveridge said after Sunday night’s 39-point loss to the Saints.
“There’s some change sweeping through our side.
“Alex Keath and Josh Bruce have just joined us, we’re relying on Tim (English) to continue to grow in his position as a ruckman, Naughty’s still a 20-year-old key forward and some of our younger guys, like Bailey Smith, will grow week-to-week…you’re always in a state of flux and transitioning.
“You’ve just got to keep an open mind and stay positive and can’t look any further than the next week.”
The Bulldogs started well against the Saints but couldn’t maintain their intensity across the four quarters.
Beveridge was left to rue his side’s skill errors and inability to match the Saints on the counter-attack.
“We didn’t use the ball well enough and it felt like what we geared up for intensity-wise and contest-wise fell apart a little bit,” he said.
“We weren’t consistent enough with it.
“And obviously they got too much bang for their buck with their transition and their inside 50s. We didn’t stop that… we didn’t close them down and get turnovers quick enough.
“Our game style stacks up – if we use the ball better and we react quicker when it doesn’t go our way. But we gave the ball back to them quite blatantly and we didn’t resurrect it.
“We’ve got some challenges – we’ve got some huge challenges.”
The Bulldogs will have to tackle those challenges for the next couple of weeks without former skipper Easton Wood, who Beveridge confirmed would miss a couple of weeks with a quad injury.
But tough midfielder Tom Liberatore could be in the mix for a return in five days’ time to face west-side rivals GWS Giants.
Beveridge remains confident his side is better that it has shown in its two performances in 2020.
“You’re always going through change and sometimes it’s a step backwards to go forwards,” Beveridge said.
“I’ve got a really strong belief in our players and our group, and what we’re capable of.
“That’s what some of the discussion was at the end of the game again. They’ll look deep and reflect on what they can do better.
“But we can’t get ourselves into a position where we’re that concerned about how we’re going that we can’t break the shackles quickly. We can’t play paranoid footy. We have to have a positive outlook, no matter what our situation.”