Fired-up Eagles ruffled
Fired-up Eagles ruffled

West Coast players are angry about the position they are in after nine rounds and must win against North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium on Sunday night to get their season back on track, according to veteran ruckman Dean Cox.

The Eagles held an open training session yesterday at a rain-soaked Patersons Stadium.

Key midfielder Luke Shuey sat out the Tuesday session for the second week in a row.

Shuey wandered on to the oval briefly but all he did was have a discussion with captain Darren Glass before returning to the change rooms.

It is believed Shuey's training loads are being managed, while the club is also confident fellow on-baller Chris Masten will play, despite being substituted out of the loss to Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday with ham- string tightness.

Masten was on the oval with his teammates but left before the more intense drills started.

Elliot Yeo, who had his two front teeth damaged after a collision with Collingwood's Jarrod Wits on Saturday, trained strongly and will play against the Roos.

The Eagles will welcome back star forward Mark LeCras after serving his one-game suspension for a high bump on Greater Western Sydney midfielder Will Hoskin-Elliott.

Josh Hill was serviceable against the Magpies, booting two goals and laying five tackles, but is the one most likely to make way for LeCras, who has kicked 11 majors in four games.

The Eagles have not won without LeCras this season.

The clash with the eighth-placed Kangaroos (5-4) shapes as a vital game for both teams' finals chances. West Coast are ninth with a 4-5 record and confront top-four sides Hawthorn (away) and Gold Coast (home) in the following two rounds.

Cox believed the team had taken a step forward against Collingwood, despite failing to get the four points from a winning position late in the game.

He said they were aware North had struggled with their starts, but would still be on alert.

"With North, I think you saw it against Freo and even Geelong, they keep coming," Cox told 6PR.

"Hopefully we do get a great start but if we do get challenged late we have got to respond."

Cox denied the players were frustrated but said they understood what was on the line.

"If you want to play finals you have got to beat teams that are around the same position as you, so North are one of those teams and we have got to make sure that we certainly win this game and get our season right back," he said.

"Players are really disappointed and angry at the position because we have been in games for periods of time.

"But we have got to take it on ourselves and make sure that we turn those close games into close wins and extended wins."

·Western Bulldogs forward Clay Smith has been ruled out of Sunday's clash with Fremantle at Etihad Stadium after accepting a one-match ban over his rough- conduct charge on Luke Russell in their loss to Gold Coast on Sunday.

The West Australian

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