Geelong coach Chris Scott admits his misfiring AFL team is lucky to remain in finals contention.
North Melbourne easily beat the Cats by 41 points on Saturday night, leaving Scott to lament his team’s poor defence.
Geelong dropped one spot to 11th, a game and a half outside the top eight.
“We’re a bit fortunate that we’re still in touch,” he said.
“We have a level of optimism with what can be achieved, but we need to play better than (what) we are at the moment.”
Defence has been the bedrock of this great Cats era, which yielded three premiership between 2007-11.
But Geelong’s backline had a bad night and generally, the team defence was lacking.
“We had way too many players who were down,” Scott said.
“We defended … as poorly as I can remember.
“They just scored way too many easy goals.”
The cancelled game against Adelaide meant Geelong had a 20-day break before this match.
But Scott said they would be clutching at straws if they used that as an excuse.
The Cats were left seething when an apparent goal in the third term was disallowed, despite a video review.
Andrew Mackie’s shot was marked by Robbie Tarrant on the line and the goal umpire was unsighted.
Footage appeared to show that the mark was taken over the goal line, but the mark was paid.
While Scott was quick to say the incident did not affect the result of the match, Geelong were pressing when they were denied the goal.
“It’s really simple – it’s black and white,” he said.
“Yes, it had a bit of an impact, but we lost by 41 points.
“It’s not an excuse … but it looked like a goal.
“I’m happy to be shouted down.”
One positive for Geelong on Saturday was the return of Daniel Menzel in the VFL.
Menzel has had a shocking run with injury and undergone four knee reconstructions.
It was his first game in more than two years.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the occasion,” Scott said.
“We’re all thrilled for him.”