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West Coast Eagles

Round 5: Pressing questions

Simpson post-match v Power Adam Simpson's press conference following his side's 42-point home loss to Port Adelaide

When did things start going wrong?

Very early. It was pretty clear that we were facing a very hungry side that outhunted us from the very beginning. The start, the first five minutes, I think we saw the intent and we couldn’t match it. Where do I start really in terms of what we need to work on? I think a lot of credit to Port Adelaide and the way they went about it. Their attitude in general has been very aggressive and we didn’t match that early and we didn’t match it late.

So you thought the midfield was the primary problem?

Sometimes you’re not working hard enough and sometimes you’re working too hard and you don’t win that contest, give up goal side for your players as well; we had a bit of a combination. At times we didn’t look to be working as hard as Port to outnumber and then when we did outnumber we didn’t win that contest and we looked vulnerable on the turnover. I think they had plus-40 turnovers in their front half. That’s not going to cut it for anyone. We’re really disappointed.

Are you seeing trends across the five rounds so far?

I suppose it’s the collective for us, we haven’t really connected as a full team. We’ve had days where our mids are exceptional, we’ve had days where our backs have just held on for us, early on in the Giants game. And there have been times where our forward line has been really, really effective, really efficient with the ball once it enters our 50. How all three of them connect together, we need that to happen more than it’s happening at the moment.

Are you finding it difficult to penetrate from the back half as well?

The inside 50s are a pretty big issue, obviously, so we need to work on that. When patterns start to arise and looking at those, and I think looking at Port, high inside 50 team and good supply, the ability to lock it in your front half becomes really important. We can’t lock it in our front half at the moment because we’re not getting enough supply. We’ve just come off winning three in a row, we’re 3-2, so we’re not in dire straits, but we’ve got some work to do.

You guys are usually so clean, especially in dry conditions. Obviously when it’s wet like tonight there’s a lot of errors that happen. When do you switch up your game plan or kind of adjust to the conditions?

We can’t be a team that’s just good in the dry. I don’t think that’s fair on our players, but we’ve got to look at what happened tonight. The weather aside, I think we’ve got to give a bit more credit to Port and the pressure they put us under. It was a wet week last week and we had a win. It’s something we need to address, but I don’t think it’s the sole reason for our inability to compete tonight.

To find a positive, how excited are you about (Jack Petruccelle)?

There was a shining light tonight and it was Petch. That was our only avenue (to goal), which whilst it is great for him we like to go through different avenues and not be as predictable as some might think. Unfortunately at the moment if we didn’t get it in Petch’s hands we didn’t score, which is great for a six or seven-game player. We’re normally better at complementing those players with others, but we just didn’t get that tonight. It’s fantastic for him and I’m sure he’s really proud, but I think he’d take an average game and a win over that.

How’s Tom Barrass?

He’s another victim that we have at the moment. Our list is pretty healthy but when we lose a player is seems to be a lower leg injury. His foot has pulled up sore, pulled up sore yesterday. We’re assessing whether it’s another stress-related injury, which will be our, probably, seventh in the last 20 games. We’re trying to work out why. We think we know where it’s pointing, but that’s a different story.

Just to be clear, you’re talking about the stadium and the surface?

We’re going to have to stop training here. That’s pretty obvious. It’s a bit like when you get asked if you want to train at the (MCG), of course you do. But we’re losing players. Until that ground becomes better for both us and Fremantle, we might have to avoid training here.