Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge believes his side is still right in the AFL finals hunt despite a 48-point loss to Greater Western Sydney.
The coach conceded Friday night’s 16.9 (105) to 7.15 (57) loss at Etihad Stadium could prove costly, but with 11 wins, he feels the Dogs are still in control of their own destiny.
“Maybe (it could be costly), but if we win the next two we’ll be pretty close,” Beveridge said.
“But tonight would have been a pretty handy one just to get us that leg-up.”
The Dogs were on a four-game winning streak going into the match, but were soundly beaten in the second half by the rampaging Giants.
“I don’t feel like we’ve regressed … we’re still hanging in there,” Beveridge said.
“The boys have had to put up with some challenges, and they’re doing their best, but it’s not going to help if we don’t use the Sherrin well enough.”
The Dogs enjoyed a lopsided 65-34 inside-50 count and Beveridge bemoaned his side’s inability to make the most of that dominance.
“Their strike rate going inside 50 was off the charts and ours was the polar opposite,” he said.
“We played with reasonable method at times, but (poor) skill and decisions really hurt us.
“We were encouraged by some of our play but ultimately the margin tells a story … we’ve just got to move on.”
The Bulldogs will look to get their finals campaign back on track when they host Port Adelaide in Ballarat in round 22.
Even if they beat the Power they will most likely need to defeat Hawthorn the week after in what is likely to be the last game of Luke Hodge’s career.