Richmond will continue to focus on 2014 instead of blooding youngsters, despite being out of finals contention.

The Tigers narrowly missed finishing top four last year, but have been below par this season and are 12th on the ladder with only six wins.

However, the Tigers head into Friday night's clash with the Eagles at Patersons Stadium on a three-match winning streak.

Conscious of the scrutiny on the club, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick is desperate for his players to finish the year strongly.

The Tigers have already used 36 players this year and Hardwick said the even nature of the AFL meant there was very little between teams outside of the top and bottom four, reinforcing the importance to teach players the right habits every week.

He said the days of Richmond handing out games to players for development or sentiment were over.

"We'll play the year out accordingly," Hardwick said. "It's no use preparing for next year when we're still playing for this year as far as we're concerned.

"We've got to continue to get wins on the board and continue to earn the respect of our fans back.

"We've been really disappointing. We've got to continue to play football the way that we can."

Richmond have cleared midfielder Reece Conca to play the Eagles after he was knocked out against Port Adelaide last Sunday week, while Ben Lennon (concussion) is also available.

But Ricky Petterd (finger) and Daniel Jackson (glute) have been ruled out. Shaun Grigg (hamstring) is expected to return through the VFL.

Richmond beat West Coast by 41 points in Perth last year, but Hardwick said the interstate trip remained daunting.

"There's no bigger test than heading over to Perth at a stadium that is a little bit different with the dimensions of the ground," Hardwick said.

"We're looking forward to the challenge of playing West Coast in a pretty emotional week for them with one of their great champions in Dean Cox retiring."

Both clubs had a bye last weekend and Hardwick said the Tigers trained solidly last Saturday to avoid being sluggish against the Eagles.

Richmond lost to Melbourne by 17 points after their first bye of the season, but Hardwick said he had been encouraged by this week's signs.

"They've come back and trained well, which is always important," Hardwick said.

"There's always a danger that you come back and are a little bit in holiday mode, but we had a pretty good session on Saturday to make sure we blew those cobwebs out.

"We're really refreshed."

"We've got to continue to get wins on the board and … earn the respect of our fans back.""Richmond coach *Damien Hardwick *

The West Australian

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