West Coast coach Adam Simpson insists he’s not digging his head in the sand over his team’s poor form, but says they can’t simply rely on star ruckman Nic Naitanui to fix all their woes.
The Eagles face an uphill battle to finish inside the AFL’s top-four after suffering an upset 19-point loss to Collingwood last week.
West Coast had been on a five-match winning run before that, but their form was patchy during that stretch.
Naitanui has been sorely missed since undergoing surgery in June to relieve Achilles tendon pain.
The 2012 All-Australian is on track to return in Sunday’s western derby against Fremantle, with his inclusion to give West Coast’s midfield some much-needed spark.
Simpson guided the Eagles to a shock grand final appearance last season.
But the third-year coach is now under increasing pressure to fix his team’s form woes.
Simpson said one of the biggest problems was the lack of contributions across the board.
“We’re looking at it all, I promise you, and we’re working our way through it the best we can,” Simpson told Perth radio station 6PR.
“Don’t worry, we’re not sticking our heads in the sand.
“(Naitanui) might make a difference for us. He’s one of our best players.
“But we can’t rely on names to get us over the line. We need a collective.
“We’ve been really happy with our leaders, and our top-end players are doing as much as they can.
“We’ve just got to try to drag a few more boys over the line.”
Midfielder Elliot Yeo (tonsillitis) and defender Tom Barrass (rested) will also return against the Dockers.
Fremantle will be bolstered by the return of 211cm ruckman Aaron Sandilands, who hasn’t played since suffering a punctured lung and broken ribs in the round-three derby loss.
Goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (fractured cheekbone) is also set to play.