Glass relaxed at Naitanui criticism
Nic Naitanui looking relaxed at training today. Pic: Mogens Johansen/WA News

West Coast captain Darren Glass says the club is happy with the output they're getting from Nic Naitanui but says he's not surprised at the recent deluge of criticism aimed at the 2012 All Australian ruckman.

Former players including Scott Lucas, Garry Lyon and Tony Shaw have been lining up to have a crack at the form of Naitanui in recent weeks, putting much of the Eagles' three-game losing streak on the 23-year-old's shoulders.


Lucas was particularly strong on SEN radio yesterday, labelling him a "very ordinary footballer".

Speaking to media today, Glass said he felt the criticism was out of line, but not surprising.

"He's got a big profile - I'm not surprised, no," he said.

"Internally there's not an issue. Internally we know the hard work he's putting in and the character that he's got and the preparation he's coming off, so internally there's no pressure coming on Nic.

"We're comfortable with where he's at, we know he's building and he's got some more gears to go but internally there's nothing, obviously externally it's different.

"That's fine, that happens in AFL football with the expectations of media and the public (being) different to what's internal.

"That's part of the process, he's been through this sort of stuff before."

Darren Glass, centre, with Scott Selwood and Will Schofield. Pic: Mogens Johansen/WA News

Glass admitted Naitanui was below his best in the Eagles' dramatic loss to Carlton at the weekend, but said he would expect the ruckman to bounce back when they play Fremantle in Sunday's western derby.

"I've played poor games - I didn't have a big impact in the last quarter against Port Adelaide, it happens," he said.

"I'm comfortable that Nic will respond.

"I haven't had a good look at his game from the weekend, but it's not always about kicks and stats and possessions and that sort of stuff.

"We're really happy with where he's at."

The West Australian

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