Eagles aren’t AFL elite: Simpson

West Coast coach Adam Simpson concedes his Eagles side are short of being AFL premiership material after falling over the line against Carlton on Sunday.

West Coast led all day on their way to a seven-point win over the inexperienced Blues.

It would have been a comfortable success without a late Carlton rally that threatened West Coast’s hold on the game.

While the Eagles fell short of a percentage-boosting win that was in the offing when they led by 33 points in the third quarter, Simpson said he was satisfied.

“We’re happy. We got a win,” he said.

“We had a fair bit of the play and didn’t capitalise with shots on goal.

“(If we) kicked straight a bit earlier on and it might not have been so tight later on.”

Jack Darling was a chief goalkicking culprit, spraying his efforts to finish with 0.5.

While the Eagles ran out winners for the fourth-straight match and sit outside the top four on percentage, Simpson said he didn’t see a team that could currently mix it with the best.

“We’re not elite,” he said.

“We’re not assuming we’re playing to the form of the top two or top four sides.

“But we can keep ticking over the wins, qualify for finals and then have a good crack at finishing as high as we can. That’s our focus.”

Jeremy McGovern incurred a painful thumb injury in the second term but both player and coach said they didn’t expect it would mean sitting out future games after he played out the match.

“He’s a very important player for us,” Simpson said.

“He’s had thumb issues for the last couple of years and he’s managed to play with us. We’ll see how he pulls up.”

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