Edgy Eagles ready for rollercoaster
Edgy Eagles ready for rollercoaster

With results of other fixtures set to dictate West Coast's chances of playing finals, Adam Simpson is predicting a weekend of mixed emotions for his players.

However, the first-year coach said the unenviable situation would not shake their focus on beating Gold Coast tomorrow.

The Metricon Stadium encounter could decide if the Eagles qualify for an elimination final next week, but several results need to go their way first.

To sneak into eighth spot, the Eagles need Richmond to lose to Sydney today and cross their fingers and hope Adelaide don't beat St Kilda by enough at Adelaide Oval to overtake them on percentage.

Simpson said the situation was nothing new for West Coast and he expected the players' focus to remain on beating the Suns, regardless of other results.

"We can't control any of these things but we're human, so we'll be watching the games," he said.

"I'll get the players together after Saturday night's game and we'll assess what's happened, but our focus won't change.

"I think we went through that during the week last week with the Melbourne game.

"I was a little bit concerned about the focus of the boys. They handled that really well.

"I'm expecting the same thing."

Midfield duo Scott Selwood and Elliot Yeo were confirmed to return from long injury lay-offs when the team was finalised yesterday.

Simpson said the pair were fit enough to play, but conceded they would not be at their best.

Ruckman Nic Naitanui and defender Blayne Wilson were the other inclusions, with emergencies Dom Sheed and Ash Smith travelling with the side.

The Suns included Matthew Warnock and Greg Broughton at the expense of Trent McKenzie (hamstring) and Tim Sumner (omitted).

Simpson said the challenge of facing Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium was still considerable, with the expansion team having won seven of 10 games at its home ground this year.

"I'm excited," Simpson said.

"I'm excited that we're playing some good footy, I'm excited to play a game that hopefully means something.

"But even if it's not for the finals, it's pretty important for us to finish the year off well. We're building some momentum for next year and regardless of availability for finals, we consider it a big game for us for next year."

West Coast yesterday continued to lock away their young talent, signing Patrick McGinnity and Fraser McInnes to one-year contract extensions.

McGinnity was on the verge of being de-listed earlier this year, but has proved his worth in the second half of the season.

"I think he's been part of the reason why we've turned things around a little bit," Simpson said.

"He is providing that tenacity, especially in our front half, he's been doing jobs for us and he's playing the role for the team.

"Competitive instinct is what you look for and that's what I like, and that's his main asset."

"We can't control any of these things but we're human, so we'll be watching the games."

The West Australian

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