Elliot Yeo admits the memory of West Coast’s round 23 loss to Hawthorn still lingers in his mind.
Speaking to 96FM’s Botica’s Bunch program this morning, the dual John Worsfold medallist said he would not soon forget the final home and away clash of 2019 when the Hawks ruined the Eagles’ chances of securing a top four finish with a 38-point win at Optus Stadium.
Yeo hoped the pain of that loss would inspire the team to play their best footy when the two sides clash at Perth’s premier sporting cauldron on Sunday.
“That one hurt,” a candid Yeo conceded.
“There was a probably a couple of other games throughout the year that hurt us in terms of the back end of finals, but that one, one week out (from the finals) certainly hurt.
“Hawthorn, we’re not going to take them lightly, especially with the short season and the short game format it’s a big momentum game at the moment and any team that jumps on that generally wins.
“We’ve got a few things in the pipeline that we are going to train today and hopefully we can implement that into the game.”
Finding a way to fire out of the starting blocks a bit quicker is high on West Coast’s priority list.
In spite of recording thrilling wins, the club has given their opponents significant head starts the past three weeks.
The Eagles trailed Collingwood by 14 points at quarter time in round eight, were down by 22 midway through the second quarter against Geelong in round nine and let Carlton run away to a 19-point lead at one point in the third term last Sunday.
Yeo said it was an issue the team intended to resolve at training this week.
“We’ve started a little bit slower in the previous games,” Yeo said.
“We’ve spoken about it, but it’s one of those things where teams are really trying to get the jump early and we’ve got to try and take that onboard as well.
“It would be great if we started like that as well. We’re working on it.”