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'We shouldn't have won', says Simpson

Simpson: 'We shouldn't have won today' Eagles coach Adam Simpson conceded his side didn't deserve victory against impressive Demons outfit
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Mark LeCras of the Eagles in action during the 2016 AFL Round 18 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Melbourne Demons at Domain Stadium on July 23, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Mark LeCras in action for West Coast on Saturday

WEST Coast should not have beaten Melbourne and has "a heap of work to do", coach Adam Simpson says.

However, Simpson remains positive, saying the players should enjoy their second scrappy win in a row, with the prospect of star ruckman Nic Naitanui’s return helping Simpson maintain a "glass half-full" outlook.

Full match coverage and stats

The Eagles somehow pulled a win out of the fire against the Demons at Domain Stadium on Saturday to remain in the race for the top-four.

Five talking points: West Coast v Melbourne

Naitanui may return as early as next week as the Eagles push to qualify for the double chance with matches against Collingwood (MCG), Fremantle (Domain Stadium), Greater Western Sydney (Spotless Stadium), Hawthorn (Domain Stadium) and Adelaide (Adelaide Oval) to finish the season. 

The Eagles conceded 66 inside 50s to 37, 20 scores to 16 and the game was played in the Demons' half for 63 per cent of the match.

They trailed at every change but stayed in touch and kicked 2.2 to 0.2 in the last quarter to win by six points.

"We shouldn't have won today, but we did," Simpson said post-match

"It's a tight comp. Look at the Sydney-Carlton game.

WATCH: Adam Simpson's full post-match press conference

"We'll take the win, we’ve got enjoy the win (but) we’ve got a heap of work to do. I'm glass half-full. We can't afford to be moping around and we've probably qualified for finals now.

"There's no point moping around. Two wins in a row have been scrappy and probably ugly as people say but they've been wins. It's about getting it right at the right time of the year, but the clock is ticking."

The Eagles have won five straight without Naitanui after the ruckman needed surgery on both feet to remove the plantaris tendons that were becoming inflamed and causing pain in his Achilles.

He is now pain free and has been building towards a return for either round 19 or 20. Simpson confirmed Naitanui would not need to come back via the WAFL and may return against Collingwood next Saturday.

"We'll see how he trains," Simpson said.

"He's in the mix next week. He trained yesterday and trained well. He's into full training and we'll make a call on that later in the week."

Defender Will Schofield was rested on Saturday after pulling up sore off a six-day break. He did a running session on Domain Stadium after the match and Simpson said he would be likely to come straight back in next week.

“(Schofield) would've done a bit of extra training today after the game but I would've thought he's available for selection, which is a good problem to have,” Simpson said.

Finding room for him will be an issue. Eric Mackenzie was recalled this week after spending a month in the WAFL and Simpson said he did a good job keeping Demons forward Jesse Hogan goalless despite the mountain of supply. Simpson said he would review the tape before he could make a decision on how the Eagles' defence will look next week.

Simpson said the Eagles also needed to spread the load in the midfield, as they continue to rely heavily on Matt Priddis, Luke Shuey and Andrew Gaff.