Beveridge says Bulldogs have big AFL task
Posted on 04/25/20 7:44 PM
Coach Luke Beveridge admitted times are tough at the Western Bulldogs.Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is resigned to speculation about player unrest at the AFL club as they deal with the biggest challenge of his regime.
The Bulldogs have started the season with horrible losses to GWS and West Coast, inevitably fuelling talk that something is wrong at the 2016 premiers.
Sunday’s match against Essendon at Etihad Stadium looms as pivotal for the Bulldogs, particularly given they come up against their premiership player Jake Stringer for the first time.
‘When you’re not going so well, you look around for signs of fractures and people leaving the reservation; I’ve never seen that,” Beveridge said of his club.
“We’ve been through some challenging times and this is the most challenging, there no doubt, let’s be honest.
“Not once has anyone deviated from what we’re trying to achieve.
“I can hand-on-heart say that everyone is still really focussed, drawn together to achieve something together.”
The coach added no one had alerted him to any issues among the players.
“We probably didn’t see it coming, the way it’s transpired, so there’s been a jolt,” he said.
“Time will tell how quickly we can pull ourselves out of it.
“The players know I have their back and (I’m) fully supportive of what they’re doing.”
Speaking about the club generally, Beveridge also strongly defended club president Peter Gordon.
“He’s such a supportive person, the figurehead of the football club (and) I love him to death,” he said.
“We probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.
“Some of that innuendo sometimes centres on him and it’s so unfounded, because he’s such an amazing person.”
The Bulldogs regained Tory Dickson, Mitch Wallis and Jack Redpath, but key forwards Tom Boyd and Josh Schache remain sidelined.
“Now’s not an ideal time for Tom to come in, when he’s not playing so well and we’re not as a group,” Beveridge said.
The coach said Schache is nursing a calf injury but could resume playing in the VFL next weekend.
Essendon are coming off an away loss to Fremantle and have regained Orazio Fantasia, David Myers and Mark Baguley.