McGovern tells teammates to step up
Jeremy McGovern battles for the ball against Essendon. Pic: Getty Images

West Coast youngster Jeremy McGovern has thrown down the challenge to his inexperienced teammates, saying they have to take more responsibility in games and not expect the leaders to light the way for them.

The Eagles cost themselves a golden opportunity to jump into the eight when they lost to Essendon on Saturday night despite leading by 34 points during the third quarter.

With Adelaide and Collingwood then losing, the Eagles would have been in the eight if they'd beaten the Dons.

McGovern, who was playing his 11th game, said West Coast wouldn't return to finals action unless the younger players had more impact when games were on the line.

HOW EAGLES CAN STILL MAKE THE FINALS

"I feel we're all pretty mature as young blokes," he said.

"For us to be successful quickly we need to stand up sooner rather than later and take the game on.

"We have enough good players around us who can recognise that. We need to do it earlier.

"Everyone needs to stand up as a whole. We've got some individuals who always stand up. Matt Priddis stands up every week, Eric Mackenzie stands up every week. We need a lot more blokes around them who are going to stand up as well.

"If we have 18 blokes who stand up on the day, I'll back my teammates to get the job done."

The Eagles are 12th but the other results mean that with games against Melbourne and Gold Coast to come, West Coast are still a chance to play finals.

McGovern said West Coast had to return to the style of play they'd shown during wins over Adelaide and Collingwood instead of falling into the same habits that caused them to struggle earlier in the year.

"It definitely felt like we went into old habits," he said.

"We weren't working hard enough for the kicker, which has been the best thing in the last few weeks. We didn't take the game on enough I didn't think. So when we did win the ball we didn't damage them the other way. I think we went back to kicking long down the line a fair bit. We didn't work enough for each other to open the game up and take it on."

McGovern said the back line faltered during Essendon's run on because of a lack of midfield pressure.

The Bombers dominated the final term and McGovern said the back line would never be able to stop the onslaught with the space Essendon had.

"We just need to make sure we have enough pressure up the ground," McGovern said.

The West Australian

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