WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge concedes his side's ongoing problems with inefficiency could be affecting the confidence of his players.
The long-time problem at Whitten Oval was particularly glaring in the 82-point loss to Greater Western Sydney in the opening round, with the Bulldogs only scoring 7.9 from 51 forward 50 entries at a worrying 37 per cent efficiency.
Midway through the Canberra encounter, the Dogs were keeping up with a slick and efficient Giants outfit in most statistical categories, but were getting smashed on the scoreboard because of poor skills or decision-making when entering attacking 50.
Beveridge said the problem was physically and psychologically taxing on his players, because it forced them to defend for longer than they should.
"I think on the weekend there were examples of our players working hard offensively and then didn't connect through skill or decisions and that held us up, so there was a frustration in that," Beveridge said on Tuesday.
"It's something we need to work through. You want to (defend) less often, and we did that too frequently.
"It only takes a handful of fundamentals in the (game) phases to break down and that's what happened.
"They were just too hard to combat with the way we played, so there is a lot of room for improvement."
The pummelling from the Giants was Beveridge's heaviest loss in his four-year tenure at the Dogs, and it led club president Peter Gordon to label the performance "embarrassing".
While the coach didn't agree with his superior's assessment of the result, Beveridge said he and the team deserved some breathing space because they are a much different combination to the side that claimed the 2016 flag.
Only 13 players selected against the Giants were part of the team that broke the club's 62-year premiership drought.
"When you get rolled by 82 points, there's no doubt a lot of people feel that emotion," Beveridge said.
"It's important we support that change and feel positive about implementing things that will in the short-term get us back to being a more formidable opponent.
"(Embarrassment) is not something I felt, but I was obviously a little bit frustrated and disappointed with (the loss) at different times, and that's what the players felt as well
"They're determined to be better this week, and only time will tell."