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We can win flag from outside top four: Worsfold

Harry Thring  April 27, 2013 11:00 PM

Post-match: Eagles Watch West Coast coach John Worsfold's post-match press conference
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Eagles Mark LeCras handballs off as midfielder Chad Wingard pursues

WEST COAST coach John Worsfold maintains his side can still challenge for this year's flag, even if its slow start to the season sees it finish outside the top four.

No team has won the premiership from outside the top four under the current finals system.

The Eagles slumped to a 1-4 record after losing to Port Adelaide on Saturday night despite leading by 41 points at the 11-minute mark of the third term.

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Worsfold said that while going all the way from a less-than-ideal position was possible, his side's attention had to be on simply playing better football.

"The premiership team's come from the top four a majority of times and if we don't make it then this is going to be one of the rare years where maybe it doesn't," Worsfold said.

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"Our focus is on improving our footy, not how far we've got to go in the season, how many wins it's going to take to finish in certain spots.
"Our focus at the moment has to be on improving our footy because the rest of it is irrelevant otherwise.

"We'll see where it takes us."

For the second week in a row, the Eagles failed to capitalise on an abundance of opportunities.

They had 20 scoring shots to just seven at half-time, yet could manage just seven goals.

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Worsfold said his players had become mentally weak and needed to snap out of it.

"Just be tougher mentally, kick the goals," he advised the playing group.

"Our boys have been bad for a couple of weeks, but they haven't been bad weeks prior to that, last year, so there's something going on.

"They're feeling the pressure, coughing it up? I don't know. But they've got to kick the goals and we expect them to kick them."

While left to rue another missed victory on Saturday night, Worsfold said the side could see the return of talented midfield pair Sharrod Wellingham and Matthew Rosa for next week's home game against the Western Bulldogs.

Wellingham had 28 disposals for East Perth on Saturday, while teammate Rosa managed 29.

"Wellingham and Rosa got through (WAFL hit-outs) again, so they're up and going," Worsfold said.

"They're available … we're really pleased with how they went, so they'll be up for selection."

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry.