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Eagles got 'beaten up in certain areas', says Simpson

Highlights: West Coast v Fremantle The Eagles and Fremantle go head to head in round four

ADAM Simpson didn't quite concede that West Coast dodged a bullet in the 13-point win over a wasteful Fremantle, but did admit his side got beaten up in several key areas.

The Eagles were never headed in Saturday night's Derby, but were clinging on at times as the Dockers failed to capitalise on a number of opportunites.

West Coast lost the contested possession count (130-151) and were also out-tackled (50-54).

DERBY DELIGHT FOR EAGLES Full match coverage and stats

"It wasn't like we were turning up our toes, we just got beaten up in certain areas of the ground which we need to improve … we got beaten around the contest," Simpson said.

"That's something we've got to work on, that's something we don't like to be too far away in that stat; so we've got some work to do."

 

Simpson was satisfied to get through the first month of the season with three victories and said that grinding out early wins were priceless as they tried to bank enough victories to make the finals again.

"Did we dodge a bullet? It was a grind, no doubt," Simpson said.

"I think people are still trying to get a read on where Fremantle are at and we're still working ourselves out as well, but I think they're better than what some people think.

"We were accurate at the start and we held them at bay all night but not a lot went right apart from the score. We won the stoppage battle but it was a grind."

WATCH Adam Simpson's full post-match press conference

He expected the tough contest Fremantle provided and forecast more such grinding clashes throughout the season.

"Footy's not clinical, sometimes it looks great and the game opens up but this is a derby, we play for keeps. So these games across the weekend, let alone across the year and going to happen. I'm not overthinking it," he said.

"Our team defence was poor but our ability to win a contest when we really needed to, was really important.

"It was a low-scoring game and they scored plenty of points so I think at quarter-time we got our lead, one scoring shot the difference 5.1 to five points, so that hurt them early.

"The most important thing about this month is we've won three games, we are chasing finals which is 12, 12-and-a-half wins so we are on our way.

"I think every side's had moments and lapses in their form and we're no different."

Simpson said the withdrawal of Lewis Jetta with a tight hamstring was a line-ball call and he hoped he'd be able to face Port Adelaide on Friday night at Optus Stadium.

He said there were no other injuries, but will have a light week on the track with a six-day break before the Good Friday clash with the Power.