West Coast coach Adam Simpson has hit out at Josh Kennedy's critics, dismissing the "white noise" surrounding the star goalkicker's form after he bounced back with seven-straight majors against North Melbourne.
Kennedy has battled illness during a dry spell in front of goals over the past month, returning just two majors from three games and his future beyond 2019 was questioned by some.
But the 31-year-old appears to be running back into form at the right time, and was unstoppable in Saturday's 49-point thumping of North Melbourne as he notched up 600 career goals.
"It's (criticism) white noise for everyone inside the club. If I get a little chance to give you guys (media) a clip for it, that's great, but it's bigger than that," Simpson said post-match.
"JK's been a sensational player for a long period of time. One day he's going to retire, but not today.
"600 goals, magnificent effort for him and the club, but I don't think he plays for that. Maybe it's something he can reflect on when he finishes his career."
During Kennedy's lean patch, sidekick Jack Darling had taken centre stage with 16 goals in his previous four games, and added two more against the Roos as part of a potent forward line.
It is debatable whether Darling or Kennedy is the main man in West Coast's attack, and Simpson is pleased not to have one standout key forward.
"We don't really want to talk like that, I suppose. We relied on JK for a long period of time and perhaps too much, so we like to get the balance," Simpson said.
"Dual threats is what we're always looking for, and if we're too predictable and we kick it to one person all the time it doesn’t work for us.
"We're trying to get everyone involved."
The Eagles have moved up to second spot, ahead of Brisbane by just 0.3 per cent, and guaranteed their finals spot for the fifth-straight season.
Now Simpson is eyeing the double-chance, which seems likely as West Coast sits two games clear of Collingwood in fifth, but second spot is the dangling carrot for the reigning premiers and percentage could be crucial.
"You don't really talk halfway through the last (quarter) about getting good percentage, but I did have the conversation," Simpson said.
"I think when you get to that stage you want to try and reduce the 'oppo' scoring. I thought North never gave up all day. They always looked threatening.
"They looked tired at stages through circumstance, but I don't think they gave up."
The Eagles should regain skipper Shannon Hurn (calf) for next Sunday's trip to face a dangerous Carlton outfit at Marvel Stadium, while tagger Mark Hutchings (hamstring), defender Liam Duggan (ankle) and forward Jamie Cripps (groin) aren't far away.