Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is maintaining a “glass half-full” approach despite his side restarting the season with a second horror defeat for the year.
Beveridge lamented the Bulldogs’ raft of skill errors and inability to win the ball in the contest in a 39-point defeat to St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Sunday night.
It came on the back of a round-one thumping from Collingwood and left the Dogs as one of four sides yet to claim a win this year, despite pre-season predictions that they could be surprise premiership challengers.
They now face a five-day turnaround before a clash with GWS on Friday night in the first meeting of the bitter rivals since the Giants smashed the Dogs in last year’s elimination final.
“I’ve got a really strong belief in our players and our group and what we’re capable of,” Beveridge said.
“They’ll look deep and reflect on what they can do better, but we can’t get ourselves into a position where we’re that concerned about how we’re going that we can’t break the shackles quickly.
“We can’t play paranoid footy, we have to have a positive outlook no matter what our situation.”
The Bulldogs had only five players from their 2016 premiership take to the field against St Kilda as Beveridge ushers in a new era.
He said Tom Liberatore would come into contention for a recall from his latest serious knee injury, which ended his 2019 campaign a month early.
But former captain Easton Wood is still nursing a quad injury and Lachie Hunter has three matches left to serve on his club-imposed suspension.
“We’ve just got to remain glass half-full and there’s some change sweeping through our side,” Beveridge said.
“Alex Keath and Josh Bruce have just joined us and we’re relying on Tim (English) to continue to grow in his position as a ruckman.
“(Aaron) Naughton is still a 20-year-old key forward and some of our younger guys like Bailey Smith will continue to grow week-to-week.”
The Bulldogs approached St Kilda about a possible reserves practice match last week, but the Saints knocked them back.
Beveridge said a practice match would be organised with North Melbourne this week and was likely to take place at Marvel Stadium on Friday before the GWS clash.