No captain. No form. No hope?
Not in the opinion of Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade, who wants his charges to put on a fighting AFL display against in-form West Coast on Saturday.
The Suns, already missing influential captain Gary Ablett (knee), have been forced to make further changes with defender Trent McKenzie ruled out after tweaking his hamstring in training on Thursday.
Eade confirmed McKenzie would join Ablett, Michael Rischitelli (personal reasons) and Alex Sexton (knee) on the sidelines for the visit by the second-placed Eagles.
Fresh from a thumping win over Sydney last weekend, the Eagles will head to the Coast full of confidence but Eade has far from written the game off.
“We’re out there to win,” Eade said.
“We have to defend well but by the same token we’ve got to be bold with our ball use.
“Against West Coast, if you’re not, they hem you in. Sydney are in the top four teams in the competition and they held them to two goals at half-time. I think that shows the enormity of the task.
“Having said that, we’ve got a talented forward line and we need to work hard to get the ball inside 50 to give them a chance.”
Unsurprisingly the Eagles are heading east without making a change to the team which beat the Swans.
West Coast have never lost to the Suns since the expansion club joined the AFL, averaging 128 points a game against Gold Coast.
They also belted the Suns by 92 points earlier this season and Eade is more than aware another tough day is ahead if his young team can’t meet his expectations.
“They’ve come through well from other periods with their effort, their willingness to learn and we have to come with the mindset we’re going to try,” he said.
“We’re going to have to defend well and work hard.”