WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge isn't ready to talk finals yet, despite his side looking at a soft draw in the second half of the season.
Following Saturday night's six-point victory over St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, the Bulldogs moved into eighth place on the ladder with seven wins.
Just percentage separates the Bulldogs from Richmond and Adelaide in sixth and seventh place respectively, while the Giants, who have the bye this round, sit just below the Dogs.
In their remaining 10 games, the Dogs face eight sides below them including Carlton and Gold Coast in the next two weeks.
West Coast and Collingwood are their only two top eight opponents for the rest of the season.
While Beveridge acknowledged the Bulldogs were well-placed heading into the second half of the season, he wasn't willing to look too far ahead.
"We’ve got ourselves in a position where we can really capitalise and forge ahead and see where we end up," Beveridge said.
"We're not talking about the 'f-word', because you've got to earn that right at some point and we're not there yet and there are so many challenges ahead."
A September berth would be foreign territory for many of the young Bulldogs, with 2010 the last year the club made finals.
They lost to St Kilda in the preliminary final that year, with just seven Bulldogs who played in that loss still on the current list.
Matthew Boyd, Easton Wood, Bob Murphy, Jarrad Grant, Will Minson, Liam Picken and Dale Morris are all still playing, and have the experience to guide their younger teammates.
The challenge now for Beveridge is how to manage the pressure that comes with playing teams his side will be expected to beat.
"We're trying to manage our own expectations, now that we've set a higher standard and we know that we can beat good sides," he said.
"But we've learnt some lessons from when we haven't really had the energy for the game for four quarters and we're trying to ward off those times where we might be at risk.
"We're trying to treat every opponent as a club that is formidable and it'll be no different next week, but we need to get our own backyard right in the first place -that'll be our challenge again."
The Dogs face Carlton next Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.