West Coast coach Adam Simpson says that his side’s inability to win away from home has nothing to do with the football grounds that they encounter on the east coast.
Simpson argues that the pressure put on by opposition sides is causing the skill errors in his players – not the surface, their preparation or ground dimensions.
The Eagles have lost all three games away from Domain Stadium in 2016 and have not tasted victory on the road since round 16 of last season, when they beat Collingwood at Etihad Stadium.
Simpson expects that pressure to be no less when West Coast travels to Adelaide to play Port on Saturday.
“I think we need to continue to work on fundamentals, in big games in particular,” Simpson said.
“It’s probably not about skill level – it’s more about your intent and ability to execute the basics.
“It’s about staying professional and trying to produce the same thing every week. That’s our challenge. Clearly we’re not doing that at the moment, but I don’t think we’re far off.”
Simpson said that he had been impressed by the aggressive brand of football Port had been playing.
The Power’s round five performance against Geelong, which the Cats kicked away to win by 48 points, seems to have especially turned the head of the Eagles coach.
Port laid 81 tackles in that game and won 126 contested possessions, but were particularly ferocious in the first half.
They led Geelong 5.4 to 1.4 at quarter-time.
“I think looking at the vision in depth in the last couple of days, they have been – a part from one or two games – they have been right in it,” Simpson said of the Power.
“But I thought even in that game (against the Cats) they haven’t been far off. Their brand is pretty aggressive as well, so full respect for what they are doing.”