Dogs need to regain momentum: Beveridge

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is keen to regain lost momentum when the Dogs take on Melbourne on Sunday.

Beveridge’s young side surprised many with their barnstorming start to the season that had them sitting in third spot with four wins five rounds in, but two losses in the past fortnight have dropped them back to eighth.

“We’ve lost two out of our last three if you want to chunk it up,” Beveridge said on Saturday.

“But … there’s definitely a lot of belief – there’s no lack of confidence among the players.

“We know that our best is good enough and it’s brilliant that we’ve been able to establish that.

“We’ve got to work with that now and make sure we don’t miss out on opportunities that are right in front of us.”

All-Australian ruckman Will Minson remains on the outer, with former Sydney defender Shane Biggs replacing Mitch Honeychurch in the only change made after last week’s heartbreaking loss to Fremantle.

Since Beveridge dropped Minson ahead of round four, the Bulldogs have lost the hitouts by an average of 33 taps a game, but the coach will continue to experiment with his ‘ruck by committee’ approach, with the more mobile Ayce Cordy as the lead.

“We just think we’ve got an opportunity to get a great spread through all the phases of the game,” Beveridge said.

“Right at this point in time Will doesn’t fit into that at AFL level, but that’s not to say that he won’t come in and fit into it next week.

“We’re really happy with the way Ayce is going, Tommy Boyd is doing some ruck work for us and (Jordan Roughead) occasionally and, as you saw last week, about 10 others.

“But we’ve gone about it in different ways from week to week and at some point Will will be a part of that.”

The Demons made five changes to the side thumped by 105 points by Hawthorn with Jack Watts and Jesse Hogan the notable inclusions, while Dom Tyson (knee) and Chris Dawes (calf) were unavailable.

Paul Roos stayed to true to his word and didn’t review the big loss to the Hawks, which came on the back of similar losses to Fremantle and Sydney.

Watts asked to drop back to the VFL to find some form ahead of the Hawthorn game and the coach foreshadowed his return after a positive hitout in the reserves.

“As much negative stuff as you hear about Wattsy … what the weekend showed was that we need Jack Watts playing and we need him playing well because he gives us something that we don’t have,” Roos said.

“And that’s an incredible footy IQ, really good skills and really good decision-making.”

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