Eagles coach calls for unity amid scrutiny

·2-min read

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says there's not enough evidence to suggest his game plan is outdated, and has called for unity as the club battles a rare form slump.

The Eagles were heavily criticised this week after their 55-point home loss to the Bulldogs was followed by an embarrassing 92-point defeat to Sydney at GMHBA Stadium.

St Kilda great Leigh Montagna said Simpson's game plan had run its race while former Essendon star Matthew Lloyd described West Coast as pathetic and questioned the attitude of the players.

Eagles forward Jamaine Jones (syndesmosis), midfielder Jack Redden (leg), and defender Alex Witherden (groin) also suffered injuries in the horror loss to the Swans that will keep them out for at least several weeks.

On a positive note, All-Australian goalsneak Liam Ryan will return from suspension for Monday night's clash with North Melbourne at Optus Stadium while star midfielder Andrew Gaff (thumb) is set to join him in the side.

Simpson, the 2018 premiership coach, said it was too early to label his game plan outdated.

"It's an honest question I suppose. But if the effort and work rate isn't there, then it's hard to execute your method," Simpson said.

"It's hard to execute a style of play or defend opposition if you can't bring that.

"But we've still got to look at the method as well. We're always doing that.

"We have a pretty honest conversation about that. It's hard to judge. After the Richmond game it looked OK - two games ago.

"We've really been exposed the last couple of weeks. We need to perform at a more consistent level to really judge our style of play."

Simpson says the coaching group is willing to cop the flak along with the players, but called for unity within the entire club.

"The message is we're all in this together. It's all of us," Simpson said.

"Just like the coaches and myself, we all feel responsible.

"We need to back our players in, we need to be resilient, and we need to be tough and hard on the players. We're all in it together, that's the message, the whole club.

"We're not here to point fingers or blame people. I'm at the top of the tree, so it's for me to work through. But we're all in this together."

The motto 'talk is cheap' is resonating with Simpson, who wants to see his players respond against the Kangaroos.

"Talk doesn't really count in these situations. You need to go out and perform and do it through your actions," Simpson said.

"So judge us on Monday night and hopefully we are a bit better than we were on the weekend."

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