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Eagles focused on Giant task

Rhys Dickinson  September 12, 2017 11:40 AM

Mitchell press conference 11.09.17 The retiring midfielder speaks to the Perth media ahead of Saturday's semi-final against the Giants
Sam Mitchell says West Coast will focus on getting in tip-top shape ahead of its semi-final clash with the Giants

Sam Mitchell says West Coast will focus on getting in tip-top shape ahead of its semi-final clash with the Giants

West Coast cannot afford to bask in the glory of its thrilling extra-time elimination final win if it wants to to topple Greater Western Sydney on Saturday, according to Sam Mitchell.

The veteran Eagles midfielder said the squad had already turned its attention to tackling the Giants, who have beaten West Coast twice this year.

The Giants edged West Coast by eight points at Domain Stadium in round 10 and skipped away in the fourth quarter of the teams’ round 22 clash to record a 21-point win at Spotless Stadium.

“The great challenge for us now is that it is just such an emotional time and such a great emotional time for us, and then now we need to bring ourselves right back down because we’ve got another game to prepare for,” Mitchell said.

“All of our fans, thousands and thousands of people were so happy about what happened at the weekend, and us as players and the football club need to move on so quickly. We don’t get to bask in it; the fans get to do that for a week but we need to move on really quickly.”

Recovery will undoubtledly be the focus of the week following the team’s 140-minute slog against Port Adelaide.

However, unpicking the Giants’ smooth-moving midfield would also be a priority ahead of West Coast’s flight to Sydney on Thursday afternoon, according to Mitchell.

“There has been a lot of talk about their running ability, but I think from a contested possession point of view they are really strong as well,” he said.

“We’ve got some challenges when it comes to the midfield (but) I think our midfield group has been able to improve in the second part of the year. Our last month or so we’ve been playing some pretty strong footy and been able to get the game played in our half a little bit more.

“We need to be really strong in that area. I think contested footy is so vital in finals; I think everyone understands that. That’s going to be the type of game that we’re going to get at the weekend and we need to make sure we come out on top in that midfield battle, because that’s probably where it’s going to be won or lost.”