Coach Luke Beveridge isn’t worried about Western Bulldogs’ recent poor record in Perth, saying his AFL side won’t focus on that trend, the venue or a raucous crowd on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs have lost their past seven clashes in Western Australia, with the most recent being a 20-point loss to Fremantle in the final round of the regular season.
The stretch includes four lopsided defeats to West Coast, who they face in an elimination final.
“We don’t talk about that,” Beveridge said of his side’s losing streak at Domain Stadium.
“But that parochial home-ground advantage is there. Let’s not dodge around the fact that there will be a pretty boisterous West Coast Eagles fan base and we’ll have to deal with that.
“We’ll have to manage that and there are ways to do that.
“I don’t think our players will be nervous about making mistakes. I don’t think our players will be conscious of the crowd too much.”
The Bulldogs’ away form has been reasonable since Beveridge started his reign in 2015.
Notably the Dogs have defeated minor premiers Sydney in their past two trips to the SCG, while this year they pipped Port Adelaide by three points at Adelaide Oval.
“We probably won’t talk about that but it’s there in the memory banks,” Beveridge said.
“That helps with your belief levels … the boys will draw on some of that in their preparation.”
The Bulldogs have opted against training at Domain this week and instead plan on having a light run at the WACA.
Most players are flying out a day later than usual and will arrive on Wednesday afternoon.
“There’s a couple of things that are different. Not as a knee-jerk reaction (to losing to the Dockers a fortnight ago),” Beveridge said.
“Our of necessity more than anything, in timing our run to the game.”
Beveridge insisted belief wouldn’t be an issue for the Bulldogs, who have been widely tipped to exit the premiership race in week one of the finals.
“We know that it’s going to be hard for West Coast to beat us … we’ll go in thinking we’re as good as anyone in the eight,” he said.
Beveridge is expected to recall Tom Liberatore. Jack Macrae, Easton Wood, Jordan Roughead and Jake Stringer amid five changes to the side that lost to Fremantle.
DOGS’ DIRE RECORD AT DOMAIN:
* R23, 2016: 20-point loss to Freo
* R21, 2015: 77-point loss to WC
* R1, 2014: 65-point loss to WC
* R6, 2013: 70-point loss to WC
* R15, 2012: 38-point loss to Freo
* R9, 2011: 123-point loss to WC
* R5, 2011: 7-point loss to Freo