West Coast AFL coach Adam Simpson has given his misfiring midfield a chance to atone for their flop against the Western Bulldogs, but their task has been made more difficult with Scott Selwood struck down by injury.
Selwood will miss Friday night’s clash with Carlton at Domain Stadium with ankle soreness.
The 25-year-old was plagued by ankle injuries last year, but the Eagles say the move to rest him is only precautionary given the six-day turnaround between games.
West Coast were smashed 49-33 in the clearances and 58-41 in the inside-50m count by the Bulldogs.
Simpson hinted players could feel the selection heat if things did not improve.
“You have to keep developing, building – keep putting faith in some players. But there comes a point when that faith gets tested,” Simpson said on Thursday.
“At the moment, we still feel that we have had a good pre-season in the midfield – we’ve got good personnel in there and now it’s about getting it done.
“They underperformed on the weekend – as a unit. But it’s not just the midfield – it’s everyone.”
Selwood is one of three injury omissions from the side, with Mitch Brown (knee) and Sam Butler (adductor) also forced out.
Young forward Tom Lamb was dropped, with Liam Duggan named to make his AFL debut.
Will Schofield replaces Brown in defence, while Jamie Bennell and Simon Tunbridge earn recalls.
Former Bulldog Jason Tutt will make his Carlton debut, with the Blues also calling up Levi Casboult to replace Kristian Jaksch and Dale Thomas (shoulder).
Duggan, taken with pick No.11 in last year’s national draft, becomes West Coast’s third debutant of the season, following on from Lamb and Jackson Nelson.
“There’s a bit of a class about him,” Simpson said.
“Obviously, there’s some years to come and development to go through, but he’s playing like a man at the moment.”
Carlton are looking to bounce back from their season-opening loss to Richmond.