Dogs’ confidence soaring after Swans win

Western Bulldogs forward Luke Dahlhaus says Saturday’s stunning upset win against Sydney has done wonders for the self-belief of Luke Beveridge’s young side.

The Dogs sit in third spot after five rounds following the heart-stopping four-point win against the Swans at the SCG, which skipper Robert Murphy described as the best he’s been involved with in his 276-game career.

“It does a lot, especially (beating) a team like Sydney. It does a lot for your confidence,” Dahlhaus said on Monday.

“We’ll take that into next week … the self-belief will be pretty high from now I think.”

The Bulldogs have defied the odds after enduring a turbulent off-season that included the arrival of a new coach, the departures of star veterans Ryan Griffen, Adam Cooney and Shaun Higgins and the season-ending knee injury to gun midfielder Tom Liberatore.

Their only loss has come at the hands of reigning premiers Hawthorn and Dahlhaus admits even the Dogs have been pleasantly surprised by their stunning early-season form.

“Obviously with a new coach and some changes around the club, you don’t know what to expect,” he said.

“But we had a really good pre-season and we have a really positive mindset, so we went into the season pretty confident and I think that’s come out in our footy in the first five rounds.”

The Dogs thumped Adelaide by 57 points before Saturday’s thrilling win and they did both without All Australian ruckman Will Minson, who Beveridge dropped to the VFL to find form.

“It shows you that the pressure is on to perform,” Dahlhaus said.

“Every week you’ve got to go out there and give 110 per cent … if you don’t you might go down to the VFL.

“The fight for positions is huge at the moment, which is a really good thing for the team and the club.”

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