WEST Coast will not give players a "free ride" and could turn to youth to spark their faltering season and inject some much-needed confidence, according to coach Adam Simpson.
The Eagles are clinging to eighth spot after losing to North Melbourne on Monday night in one of the upsets of the season, but Simpson would not concede the third straight loss marked the end of an era for the team.
With several senior players down on form, the coach said the Eagles would need to look at the make-up of a team that still had talent but was not delivering.
"We're not going to give players free rides, and we need to give some opportunities to our youth," Simpson said after the 10-point loss on Monday night.
"We're low on confidence … but we've got to work through it. It's football, that happens, you get down on form.
"We've got to look at the side, see if we can mix it up a little bit going forward and try and get players to perform better for longer."
Asked if the loss marked the beginning of the end for the 2018 premiers, Simpson said: "I still think there's a bit more to give. Our best players probably aren't playing their best footy. Their talent hasn't gone".
The coach said frustration had crept into the Eagles' game and hurt them against the Kangaroos, giving away undisciplined free kicks at crucial time.
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He said the team looked good on paper but "performance wise we're not", declaring the players' effort and workrate had improved after back-to-back losses.
"There’s no magic wand or dust I can sprinkle. We’ve just got to work hard. Show the good stuff, and be honest with the bad stuff," he said.
"We’ll give opportunities, just like we did in the Carlton game in Sydney we got some real growth and spirit with the younger players playing. We need to look at that as well, and give opportunities to kids who deserve it."
North Melbourne coach David Noble said the win in enemy territory was a "significant achievement" for the club and one he hoped would be viewed later as a landmark moment in the team's build.
The Kangaroos were now out to drag themselves off the bottom off the ladder during the run home as they ride an impressive month-long run of form.
"I don't want to finish on the bottom," Noble said.
"We want to win every game. That's a fundamental staple. We have our systems and our process that are at a level that we are going to be competitive in every quarter.
"We'll probably look back in 12 months' time and this could be the marker from where we move off from."