West Coast ruckman Scott Lycett is under pressure to lift his game against Carlton on Friday night after producing a first-round flop.
Lycett tallied just nine disposals and seven hit-outs in last week’s 10-point AFL loss to the Bulldogs.
The 22-year-old was earmarked to play a key role as ruck support to Nic Naitanui this year following the retirement of Dean Cox.
But with Fraser McInnes in hot WAFL form and Callum Sinclair on the verge of returning from a thumb injury, the pressure is growing on Lycett to perform.
“He wasn’t great on the weekend. He’s the first to admit that,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said of Lycett, who signed a four-year contract extension last August.
“When you have two legitimate ruckmen versus one, you think that’s a possible advantage, but we didn’t get that from Scotty.
“But there’s always more opportunities to improve and develop as a young player.
“He’s 22 years old. We’ve got a long-term investment in Scotty and Nic.”
Simpson will consider making up to three changes for the home match against Carlton.
Will Schofield will replace injured defender Mitch Brown, who requires season-ending knee surgery.
Young midfielder Brant Colledge is a strong chance to earn a recall after tallying 36 possessions and three goals in the WAFL.
And 21-year-old McInnes is pushing for an AFL debut after producing 32 hit-outs, 22 possessions, and a goal for East Perth.
Although West Coast’s defence have been ravaged by injuries, it’s their midfield that needs major attention this week.
Despite a strong performance by Naitanui, West Coast were smashed 49-33 in the clearances and 58-41 in the inside-50m count by the Bulldogs.
“I thought our midfield didn’t turn up on the weekend,” Simpson told Perth radio station 6PR.
“Our backs held up pretty well over the weekend. But we just didn’t get it done in the midfield.”