Adelaide coach Phil Walsh is oblivious to controversy about rough-house tagging tactics on his star midfielder Patrick Dangerfield.
Walsh took scant notice of the furore following Dangerfield’s harsh treatment by Melbourne’s Bernie Vince last weekend, saying he rarely delves into media coverage of his code.
“It’s a little bit of background noise really,” Walsh said of the commotion after Dangerfield was subjected to overtly-physical tactics.
“I don’t (read newspapers) so I’m a bit oblivious to everything that goes on.
“But in Adelaide, I’m a little bit more recognised now and a few more people tell me what has actually been said.
“I have always been a guy that just buries himself in getting prepared for the next opponent and that is what I have done this week.”
In his first year as a head coach, Walsh has the Crows on the cusp of achieving something the club hasn’t done since 1996 – open a season with four consecutive wins.
Adelaide will achieve that feat with victory against the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne on Sunday but the statistic holds little interest to Walsh.
“It’s a 22-round boxing match, this is round four,” he said.
Walsh was wary of the Bulldogs, in ninth place with two wins, noting it was a fixture between the two highest tackling teams in the competition this season.
But he hoped the Dogs would be more concerned about his outfit.
“My philosophy with footy is I want to get them worrying about us before we have to worry about them,” he said.
“And that is the game. At the start, most coaches will throw a few things around and it’s who blinks first.
“Are you going to stay focused on what you’re doing or do you have to react to what the opposition is doing? That is the tactical thing we are looking at.”