West Coast midfielder Luke Shuey insists no alarm bells are ringing at the AFL club yet but admits it’s time for them to get cracking if they are to achieve something special this year.
The Eagles have been a dominant force at home in 2016 but their poor away form has put their top-four credentials in doubt.
The 2015 grand finalists were badly beaten in the contested ball count (153-114) during last week’s eight-point loss to the Bulldogs and Shuey says the team’s leaders need to step up.
But with the Eagles still just one win adrift of fourth spot, Shuey isn’t panicking just yet.
“Against the better teams this year, we’ve been beaten in a lot of categories across the KPIs that we pride ourselves on,” Shuey said.
“There is room for improvement for us. But alarm bells aren’t sounding just yet.
“It’s only round 12. There’s plenty of time to fix our issues but we’d want to get cracking pretty soon.”
The Eagles will face their biggest home test of the season when they take on the high-scoring Crows at Domain Stadium on Saturday night.
Adelaide are coached by former Eagles assistant Don Pyke but Shuey doesn’t think the inside knowledge will give the Crows an advantage.
“Every team knows every other team’s game plan pretty well. It’s one thing to know a game plan, it’s another thing to beat it,” Shuey said.
Eagles wingman Andrew Gaff pulled up well from the Bulldogs game, saying he experienced no ongoing effects from the concussion he suffered two weeks earlier.
Gaff was knocked unconscious after copping a crude hit to the head from Port Adelaide’s Tom Jonas in round nine, forcing him to miss a game.
Jonas was suspended for six weeks over the incident.
Gaff tallied 23 disposals in his first game back against the Bulldogs and says the recent concussion scare won’t change the way he plays football.
“I feel like I’m pretty wary of things happening on the field. I’m not going to change,” Gaff said.
“It’s one of those things – the punch was there and it’s been spoken about. And it’s time to move on.”
Shuey and Gaff joined forces this week to promote the club’s annual Dig Deep Day fundraiser, which raises money for Cancer Council Western Australia through the sale of wristbands.
Dig Deep Day will take place on July 23 during West Coast’s round-18 home clash with Melbourne.