THE WESTERN Bulldogs "won't be idle" during this year's Trade Period following its elimination final loss to St Kilda on Saturday.
The Bulldogs were exposed for height at both ends of the ground in the three-point defeat as St Kilda took 21 contested marks – an equal season high for any team.
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An ankle injury to defender Zaine Cordy before half-time didn't help, but coach Luke Beveridge was particularly critical of his forwards, saying they didn't compete well enough in the air.
The Dogs will almost certainly draft Next Generation Academy talent Jamarra Ugle-Hagan to boost their forward line, but just 12 months after recruiting Josh Bruce and Alex Keath to bookend its key position posts, Beveridge said they would likely search again.
"Some of the areas we got touched up in tonight were because we didn't have the role players," he said.
"Our boys will learn a lesson or two, but we'll still be looking at what the possibilities are, whether there's an acquisition here or there on trade that will really help us, give us some depth, put some pressure on for spots and performance.
"We won't be idle."
St Kilda's tall timber in Max King, Paddy Ryder, Rowan Marshall and Tim Membrey all had big influences in the forward 50 and around the ground.
"We couldn't quite spoil some of those long down the line situations well enough … and they got us out the back at different times," Beveridge said.
"They're at their full capacity as far as height goes our boys.
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"We do rely on help in the air, and our timing in helping each other in the air was not there today.
"You bide your time and put the time into your players and support them and help them and hope you can win games like this and continue on, but sometimes reality sets in, which it has tonight."
Bruce and Naughton were again disappointing in the forward half, kicking a goal apiece and combining for just five marks.
"I think our forwards didn't get themselves in the right spots and they didn't compete well enough in the air. It hurt us.
"And the Saints got us with some of their speed at times.
"Those transitions out of our front end, where we not only didn't compete well enough, but we let them out of there too easy, I think that was the main difference tonight."
Beveridge said despite seeing some significant growth in 2020, ultimately it wasn't good enough.
He described the loss as "bitter" but praised his team for reversing a 24-point deficit at the final change to almost pinch victory.
"We had a handful of guys that weren't at their best and we can't afford that with the vulnerabilities we have in our side."