Finals battle a welcome distraction for Cox
Dean Cox. Pic: Bill Hatto/WA News

Dean Cox says the potential prospect of finishing his distinguished career in a finals series has overshadowed his final home match at Patersons Stadium against Melbourne this Saturday night.

The 33-year-old veteran is guaranteed to make his 290th AFL appearance at the Subiaco venue this weekend in what could also be his last AFL match.

And he is likely to be joined by long-time teammate Mark LeCras, who moved freely at this morning's training sessions in strong signs he is ready to return from a calf complaint.

However, Cox said the fact finals was still a possibility for the 12th-placed Eagles had taken his mind off running out for the final time in Perth.

"When you do announce that you're finishing at the end of the year, that's probably the first step and then it's getting to your last game at home," Cox said.

"But there's still the possibility of finals, which is probably taking my mind off playing my last game here a little bit more than it would if we were well and truly out of the finals race. That's probably my major focus.

"It's certainly left in our own hands. We've just got to win both games of footy and then percentage or other results will take care of themselves."

West Coast will rely on a depleted North Melbourne defeating Adelaide at Hobart's Blundstone Arena this Saturday to sneak into the top eight at season's end. They must also take care of their own business by toppling the Demons followed by Gold Coast away in the final home-and-away round.

Cox said the Eagles would learn from falling back into bad habits in allowing Essendon to kick five unanswered goals after half-time in Saturday night's loss at Etihad Stadium.

"Our ability to not be able to withstand their pressure or ability to try and take the game on for all four quarters, I thought the first half we took real advantage and control of the game. I suppose when the game got tight, the young group at times went back into their shell and reverted back to some old habits."

Scott Selwood and Elliot Yeo both trained with the main group and ran at near full pace, but are expected to be still another week away from returning.

The West Australian

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