Alice Edmonds and Lauren Bella compete during the round four match between Gold Coast and Western Bulldogs at Heritage Bank Stadium, September 24, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

WESTERN Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke has targeted his forward line's failure to deliver after Sunday night's four-point loss to Gold Coast.

In a frank assessment of his team's performance, Burke said the Dogs physically stood up to the Suns, but mentally let themselves down with lapses in concentration.

SUNS v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats

They are now winless after four rounds ahead of hosting St Kilda at Whitten Oval on Friday night.

Burke was particularly critical of the Bulldogs' forward line, saying despite some indifferent entries, their output simply wasn't up to standard.


"I wouldn't say our forward pressure from our smalls in particular was where it needed to be, and it was just coming out a little bit too easy," he said.

"And our talls weren't really providing the targets that we want.

"They were standing there with their hand up hailing a cab or waiting for the ball to come to them rather than going to where the ball was.

"I wouldn't say our forwards covered themselves in glory."

The Dogs owned territory in the opening quarter, generating 11 of the game's first 12 inside 50s, but could muster just a six-point lead after one term.

Gold Coast punished their inefficiency with a four-goal second quarter to take control and eventually hang on to win.


Gemma Lagioia left the field with concussion, while Celine Moody suffered a "stinger" to her shoulder, although Burke said playing the last quarter two down made no difference to the result.

"Games are bloody tough to win," he said.

"It's not like it was season one to seven. Every team is going to come out and have a crack and if you don't go every single time … if you pick and choose ever so slightly, teams will score. And that's what happened tonight.

"I need the players to understand this game is physically as tough as it is mentally.

"Physically I thought we stood up tonight, it was mentally we let ourselves down and they got goals."