WEST Coast coach Simpson has credited his players for overcoming the "emotional baggage" of seeing their finals hopes dashed on Saturday night and rebounding to beat Gold Coast on Sunday.
The Eagles rode the emotional rollercoaster with their fans, watching the action from ANZ Stadium on television at their Gold Coast hotel as Richmond ran out three-point victors over the Sydney Swans.
Simpson said the coaching staff had to work hard to pick the players up for their final game of 2014, but an 11-goal third term ensured they ran away comfortable 52-point winners.
"We probably wasted a little bit of energy watching (Swans-Tigers) when the game was so close," Simpson said.
"We were a little concerned with the emotional baggage. We got the players together after the game to refocus them on this game.
"It was a real test of our maturity, not just this week but last week as well, but you put yourself in that position when you don't control your own destiny.
"I thought, in particular, in the third quarter we responded well."
Simpson sees enough improvement in his side to believe they can play into September next year, but is far from satisfied with ninth place.
"You get what you deserve… we haven't beaten anyone in the final top eight," Simpson said.
"We've seen improvement, no doubt, especially in the back half of the year, we've won seven out of 11. But we're not satisfied, that's for sure.
"I feel like we're evolving as a club through the year. We went through a patch where we lost seven out of eight games.
"I feel like since then we've seen improvements with our ball use, our competitive instincts have lifted, but we're just not good enough."
Simpson said he would be looking to add midfield depth to the list.
"We probably need to bolster some of the areas around the ground, in the midfield in particular, we need to get a little more depth," he said.
"Having said that, I think the mids we have got have improved as the year's gone on.
"Quite often the best way to (improve the squad) is to go through the draft, that's where you get the A-graders from.
"Once we get the full personnel back I think we'll be quite competitive. but we've still got some work to do."
Simpson said the natural maturing of young players and added familiarity with his coaching system should pay dividends in 2015.
"We've got a really young list (and) our young personnel are developing," Simpson said.
"We feel there will be a natural progression and real growth with our kids. There's a crop of 22- to 23-year-olds who we feel will be 200-game, 10-year players and they'll grow together.
"Continuity with me will be important. We spent a lot of pre-season introducing a style of play and different footy language from the past."