Geelong coach Chris Scott says his team doesn’t deserve to be classified as top-four material, but he hopes that will change by the end of the home-and-away season.
The Cats snapped their two-match losing run with an unconvincing 17-point AFL win over the Dockers in Perth on Friday night.
Brownlow medal favourite Patrick Dangerfield was crucial in the 11.12 (78) to 9.7 (61) triumph, with his 31-disposal, four-goal effort helping the Cats get over the line.
Geelong’s best football has been irresistible this season.
But their knack of playing poorly against lesser sides has cost them dearly, with the Cats losing to Carlton, Collingwood, and St Kilda.
Scott conceded his team were “poor” and “average” early against the Dockers, but he also sees plenty of upside.
Geelong’s top-four hopes will go on the line over the next fortnight when they host fellow flag fancies Adelaide and the Bulldogs at Simonds Stadium.
The Cats then round out their season against lowly Essendon, Richmond, Brisbane, and Melbourne in what shapes as a dream lead-in to the finals.
Scott said his team’s priority at the minute was rediscovering its best football, rather than aiming for a particular spot on the ladder.
“We’ve shown that we have no right to consider ourselves a top-four team this year because we’re too inconsistent,” Scott said.
“So if we can find the consistency and improve our game, even if we finish 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th, we’ll be hard to beat.
“Where are we? I just think we’re in the race.
“We have a tough couple of weeks coming up which will help sort it out.”
Geelong utility Lachie Henderson is in doubt for next Saturday’s clash with Adelaide after being knocked unconscious in a heavy collision with Fremantle’s Chris Mayne.
“Sometimes it can look horrible and recover quickly, and sometimes it is innocuous, you seem fine and three days later you are still struggling,” Scott said.
“We will just have to be patient on that one.”
Dangerfield copped a knock to his knee early, and he hurt his shoulder late in the match.
But the star midfielder played out the match, and should be fine to take on his former side.
Dangerfield’s four goals against the Dockers was crucial in a game where Geelong’s stuttering attack struggled to fire.
Scott said it was an interesting debate about whether he should play Dangerfield up forward more often.
“We talk about it all the time,” Scott said.
“If our midfield is getting beaten it is a pretty bold move to take him out of it and put him forward.
“So it is always a calculated risk. I think he is a very tough match-up forward, but you have to get the ball to him as well.”