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West Coast Eagles

Round 8: Pressing questions

Simpson post-match v Saints Adam Simpson speaks to the media after our 18 point victory over the Saints

Simmo, was the even team performance perhaps one of the most pleasing aspects of that (win)? A couple of your usual suspects like Kennedy and Darling and McGovern were perhaps down on their usual numbers, but it was a good, even team performance.

I thought all of them (contributed). It was an even performance. We don’t like to rely on just our A graders. It was disappointing we couldn’t convert in the last, but I thought our players worked through the situation pretty well. The Saints are playing a really good system at the moment and you’ve got to be at your best to break it down. For a while there (it was) whoever converted the best off turnovers and it just felt like it was spinning around a little bit. I thought our players worked through something a little different in the last quarter and we didn’t get rewarded. It got a bit scratchy in the last couple of minutes, but the numbers, the supply, the shots on goal – all the things pointed towards a good win.

It seemed like the phones were working pretty hard on the bench during the last quarter. Were you getting a bit nervous at all?

No more than normal. I’m at my worst when we are 40 points up. I thought we were pretty calm in the box today. Obviously there are always moments of anger, but our effort has been there the last two weeks, so we’ve rectified some things that we were quite poor at for a few weeks through good opposition but also some disappointing numbers around the ball. I think we have got that back to at least a fight and then we can get the rest of our game going now.

Would you say tonight’s a step in the right direction?

Yeah. I was really proud of our players. Winning’s hard, it’s bloody hard. There’s nothing that you notch in. I know we’re coming off a pretty good season last year but we’re not going into every game thinking we’ll just rock up (and win). If we do that we’re not going to win. We’ve had some really disappointing games at stages, but the last couple of weeks we’ve looked positive. We’re not saying we should win by more, not at all. We have too much respect for St Kilda and the way they’re coached and the way they have talent and how they executed what they’re trying to do was very good as well.

What happened or what were the factors you tried to steady out of the last two weeks when you talked about being beaten around the ball? What did you do?

Our pressure, our tackling, our ground balls, our efficiency with the contest; all the basic things. We’ve still got work to do, we’re not perfect, but I think now we’re in the fight. We’re definitely still building towards, hopefully, better footy, but you can’t do that until you get the contest right. The contest is so broad. Contested ball is such a flawed stat, because there are so many things underneath it that you’ve got to look at. Some teams concentrate on different parts of contested ball, but we were down on almost all of them. We’ve got that better and that allows us to get on with the other parts of the game.

Liam Ryan, does his game tonight maybe personify what you’re going through? He worked his backside off.

Liam’s been working his backside off all year. His running – and I know there’ll be times when he’s not great in a contest and sometimes he’s excellent, and he’s always working on that – but what he does off the ball, we couldn’t be prouder of someone who came with not a great work ethic. Now he’s one of our best repeat effort sprint, defensive off the ball runners we’ve got. He’s come a long way.