WEST Coast will not approach games with a "defeatist attitude" or a focus on damage control, according to coach Adam Simpson, as unwanted records loom ahead of Saturday's clash against Adelaide.
The Eagles' 1-10 record has equalled their worst start to a season, and they will be hoping to avoid matching the club's longest losing streak of eight games when they take on the Crows at Adelaide Oval.
After seven straight defeats by an average margin of 80 points, Simpson said the decimated Eagles would continue to prepare themselves to win, rather than approach games already in damage control.
"I really don’t want to do that, and it’s not something I’ve done before. We go into it to win," the coach said on Tuesday.
"Halfway through the third quarter or at half-time, if you’re 50-60 points behind, that’s been a trend for us this year … (but) I don’t want to go into a game with a defeatist attitude.
"We’ve got to keep learning a style that we want to one day be successful with and changing things every week just to mitigate the losses, I don’t know if that’s the best way to develop.
"But I also do know that losing by 100 points every week doesn't help either, so finding that balance is important."
Premiership captain Shannon Hurn will return from a calf injury this week, while star defender Jeremy McGovern is rated a 50-50 chance after suffering a nerve-related back injury.
Captain Luke Shuey has no concerns with his ribs, while senior midfielders Elliot Yeo and Dom Sheed will continue to build fitness in the WAFL before returning.
MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list
Simpson said a large contingent of players would be pushing to return ahead of round 14, with the club to seek permission for up to 10 players to play in the WAFL over the round 13 bye.
"It won't be a holiday for a lot of guys, it'll be an opportunity to get another game under their belts," he said.
Once senior players do return, Simpson conceded the Eagles would still need to prioritise youth in some of their decision-making after moving into a rebuild this season.
He said players like draftee Brady Hough, who impressed against the Western Bulldogs, would ideally play at AFL level for most of the season.
"There’s some kids playing at WAFL level and they’re probably a week or two away. As soon as we get them to the point where they can get in and playing, we’ll work on getting those kids in as well," Simpson said.
"We’d love to keep him in the side for most of the year, and at the moment we haven’t got a lot of selection issues, in terms of not having many people to select, so it’s a no brainer.
"But there will be a point where we will have to make calls between a more established player and a younger player, and that’s the direction we need to take."
Simpson was tight-lipped on the Eagles' plans for the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft, with the club to finalise plans for its pick No.1 with screenings and medical checks on Tuesday.
Premiership defender Tom Cole remains on the inactive list, making a second selection available to the Eagles on Wednesday night if they choose to use it.
WHO WANTS A LIST SPOT? Top 26 mid-season draft contenders
Simpson said the 25-year-old's 'inactive' status was something that would be worked through in the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, young forward Oscar Allen has taken up a coaching role with the club's WAFL team while he is on the inactive list.
"He’s bored, he wants to be involved and it’s a credit to him," Simpson said.
"He’s in our leadership group and his season is over, so he could go on holiday if he wanted to. But he wants to help as much as he can.
"I keep stressing this – it’s not looking very good on-field, and you’ve got every reason to ask what’s happening, are there any fractures among our playing group or within.
"But he epitomises what our players are trying to do. There’s effort there during the week, they’re trying to get the best out of themselves, and he wants to help as much as he can."