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Eagles struggling, but not slow: Worsfold

Alex Malcolm  June 5, 2013 2:58 PM

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West Coast defender Beau Waters is only a slim chance to return this weekend

We looked slow to man up, we looked slow to cover those areas of the ground, not necessarily slow in terms of our leg speed
THE EAGLES may be struggling, but they're not slow, says coach John Worsfold.

West Coast was blown away by an electric Richmond by 41-points at Patersons Stadium on Monday night, with the speed and run from the likes of Brett Deledio, Dustin Martin, Nick Vlastuin, and Matt White crucial in the Tigers' victory.

It wasn't the first time this year that West Coast has been exposed by speedy players.

Chris Yarran, Jeff Garlett, and Dennis Armfield were prominent figures in Carlton's win over the Eagles in round four, while Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust kicked four goals each in Hawthorn's 50-point win at Patersons Stadium in round two. 

But Worsfold believes his side was not exposed for a lack of pace against the Tigers, with the coach adamant his side is not slow. 

"I don’t necessary agree to that," Worsfold said on Wednesday. 

"We have some players who are slow relative to other players, and that would be the same with every team.

"No one asked that question last year or the year before and we have not added slow players into the team.

"I would suggest people are clutching at straws throwing those sort of ideas around."

Worsfold believes his side was slow to react to what was happening within the game against the Tigers rather than being exposed for pure pace.

"We looked slow to man up, we looked slow to cover those areas of the ground, not necessarily slow in terms of our leg speed," he said. 

"Slow to react, yes, I definitely agree with that.

"It was one of our poorest efforts, in terms of letting a team work through us.

"But overall, the inside 50s, contested footy, we were getting to the contest as much as Richmond were.

"We just weren’t as clean with our ball use and that has nothing to do with leg speed."

Worsfold was unsure whether or not he would make many changes for the vital clash with St Kilda on Sunday afternoon.

"There are a couple of scenarios. Form is the biggest one," he said. 

"If players are out of form then their spots are under question because we have some players who are in outstanding form in the WAFL that are really pushing hard to come into the side.

"The other side is that we been struggling to get a consistent team on the field. 

"This week we have the opportunity to have a fairly stable line up and we are balancing that up at the moment."

West Coast has used 32 players so far this season. Only North Melbourne (28), Sydney Swans (29), Fremantle (29), Hawthorn (30), and Adelaide (31), have used less. 

West Coast is unlikely to regain the services of Beau Waters this week as Worsfold is looking to safeguard against further injury following a quad issue. 

"We're weighing up what the best role for him this week is whether we play him as the sub, whether we play him at all, whether we stick with a different type of program, so there's a couple of scenarios," he said. 

"We'll probably look at the one that we think will best get his body right so he has no more setbacks throughout the remainder of the year."

Defender Will Schofield is a chance to return after suffering a compound finger dislocation against North Melbourne in round eight.