Main content

Scott shrugs off criticism, vows to be 'more aggressive' against Eagles

Prickly Chris fires up, tributes for Spud, plus how to replace a 'unique beast' Mitch Cleary with all the latest footy news

A DEFIANT Chris Scott has embraced the criticism of his influence in Geelong's qualifying final howler, backing his players' actions to do the talking against West Coast on Friday night.

Experts have lined up to question Scott's gameplan and curious call to drop Rhys Stanley last week as the Cats' recent finals woes deepened against the Pies.

While dealing with several injury concerns ahead of the do-or-die clash with the Eagles, Scott was happy to take ownership of last week's performance off his players.

SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW Geelong v West Coast

"The over-arching role for me to play in this situation is to absorb a bit of the criticism," Scott said on Tuesday.

"If you're doing your job well, your role is not to spend too much time trying to work out whether the critic is right or wrong, it's to take the feedback from the people that tend to be the most important in your organisation.

"If the criticism is being directed more towards me than the players then I think that's our system working well."

Gary Rohan trains on Tuesday but is unlikely to play after a knee issue. Picture: AFL Photos

Wingman Mitch Duncan has been ruled out with a medial ligament injury to his left knee, while another setback for Gary Rohan has him unlikely to be named. 

Rohan failed to complete the loss to the Pies after re-injuring his left knee in the final term and was restricted to straight-line running early in Tuesday's main session.

Tim Kelly was a notable absentee from the track, stuck at home with illness, but isn't considered in major doubt to face the Eagles.

Brandan Parfitt, who has missed several matches this year with back tightness, trained away from a main group that included Cam Guthrie, the defensive midfielder expected to be passed fit after missing last week with a calf complaint. 

Scott stopped short of guaranteeing Stanley's return, but conceded he was a strong chance to tackle West Coast's dual ruck partnership of Nic Naitanui and Tom Hickey.

Rhys Stanley is a chance to take on West Coast's twin towers on Friday night. Picture: AFL Photos

Stanley confirmed on Monday he had been dumped from the side following training on Thursday last week and watched on as the Pies converted four goals from stoppages in the first term – as a major part of the result. 

Scott disagreed on both fronts. 

"We were still talking about the call 90 minutes before the game time, so we didn't need more time necessarily," Scott said.

FINALS PREDICTOR Who will win the 2019 premiership?

"I understand you're probably going to say Rhys was under the impression that he wasn't going to play on the Thursday, (but) it doesn't preclude us from saying 'Hey mate, we actually are going to play you'.

"It's not as if we made the call early and we were absolutely committed to it.

"In reviewing it, with the ruck situation, we didn't think that the numbers around the clearance necessarily supported that was the reason we lost the game."

Find AFL Exchange on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

Scott said his players would be switched on from the start this week after conceding the first 11 inside 50s against the Pies before going on to lose their fourth opening term from their past five finals. 

"We'd like to be more aggressive, certainly more assertive with the way we approach the game," he said.

FULL INJURY LIST Who's ruled out and who's a test?

"The way we defend when we don't have the ball, the way we get set, the way we try and get the game on our terms. It tends to be more nuance than just how we move the ball."

Scott nominated Guthrie, Stanley, James Parsons, Scott Selwood, Lachie Henderson and Charlie Constable as considerations for recalls this week.

First-year speedster Jordan Clark (elbow) and small forward Lachie Fogarty (ankle) have been ruled out again.