GOLD Coast is set to swing the selection axe for Saturday's clash with Sydney following what coach Stuart Dew described as an "unacceptable" first half against the Western Bulldogs last weekend.

Dew said one decision that needed weighing up was whether to rush ruckman Zac Smith straight back into the senior team after overcoming a PCL injury.

The Suns have mixed time with Chris Burgess and Caleb Graham, with a hint of Hugh Greenwood, in the ruck since skipper Jarrod Witts (ACL) joined Smith on the sidelines.

'ENERGY IS KEY' New Sun offers simple advice for teammates

"Zac will play, we've just got to work through whether that's the AFL or VFL," Dew said.

"There's this week but there's obviously another 15 or 16 games.

"We have to look at what sets him up to play really good AFL football, and if that's this week we can manage his time, but bear in mind we know Wittsy's out for the year and we'll look for Zac to shoulder a big load."

Zac Smith hasn't played senior football since 2019 with Geelong. Picture: AFL Photos

Of greater concern to Dew was his team's 11-goal-to-one deficit against the Bulldogs last week.

Two of Gold Coast's best players were second-gamer Jy Farrar and inexperienced forward Josh Corbett, who were both called up for that game.

With Sean Lemmens (concussion) and Charlie Ballard (ankle) both returning against the Swans, Dew said the changes would come from elsewhere.

IN THE MIX Who's pushing for selection?

"The first half was really unacceptable and that was made really clear on the day, and we talked about how we want to be defined individually and as a club," he said.

"We've got some decisions to make selection-wise this week, both with guys coming back, but even form.

"We showed some resilience, but we'd rather talk about what we need to get right rather than the responding."

One face that has been on-hand for the Suns this week is former Adelaide coach Neil Craig.

Craig has a coaching consultancy role for the past 18 months and has been at Carrara all week to help preparation for the Sydney match.

Dew gave an interesting insight on what to expect from the banged-up Swans on Saturday, calling on his knowledge of being an assistant to John Longmire before taking the Suns coaching role.

"I know after last week, having lived in Sydney and lived inside that footy club, if you lose to GWS, the cross-town rivals, the next week is a particularly uneasy one throughout the footy club.

"We've got to confront that head-on."