Beveridge shy about talking AFL finals

The F-word will no longer be banned among the Western Bulldogs if they get a win over North Melbourne on Saturday.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge won’t talk of finals until his AFL team’s top-eight position is assured.

Currently sixth on percentage, Beveridge will feel much more comfortable if the Etihad Stadium result goes their way.

“Until we can say yes, we’re absolutely definitely there … everyone probably thinks I’m an idiot because I won’t acknowledge it but we can still miss out,” Beveridge said.

“We really want to beat North Melbourne and at the end of the game say `We’re in there now so we have to get the job done’.”

Despite sitting a spot above the Kangaroos, Beveridge is well aware of the huge challenge of stopping their opponents.

North booked their seventh successive victory with an 11-point win over competition leaders Fremantle last round.

“They are an experienced strong bodied group; they are great at the contest and they’ve shown against some very good sides that when they’re at their best they can win the day,” said Beveridge.

“We know if they’re right on their game it’s going to make it pretty tough for us.”

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, faded in the final quarter as West Coast booted nine goals to one to hand them a 77-defeat – their biggest loss of the season.

Beveridge said the fact that his team were in the hunt until the final quarter mean their confidence wasn’t badly dented.

Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui was a giant headache for the Western Bulldogs and Beveridge said they would have their work cut out containing big Roo Todd Goldstein.

“He’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Beveridge said.

“I felt last week there’s no doubt Nic was always going to be dominant when it comes to the hitouts, but we just couldn’t quite get it done around the ball.

“We’ll need to be at our best to combat Goldstein tomorrow and we’ll have some plans in place to do that.”

Those plans don’t include Will Minson, who will play VFL again.

“Every week we consider Will and our ruck situation,” Beveridge said.

“All it says is that he’s next in line or the one after that at the moment.

“Will’s a contracted player into 2016, so he’s a required player.

“His long-term future is secure.”

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