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Eagles won't turn up toes against Demons

·2-min read

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has declared his side won't turn up their toes in the face of a David and Goliath AFL battle against red-hot Melbourne on Sunday.

The Eagles were dealt more injury blows this week when Shannon Hurn (calf) and Andrew Gaff (quad) suffered niggles at training.

It means West Coast will take on the unbeaten Demons missing 10 players from their best 22, including stars such as Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo, Willie Rioli and Oscar Allen.

West Coast's fall from grace has been so dramatic that Melbourne have been listed as $1.01 favourites on Sunday despite the match being played in Perth.

Simpson put on a brave face as he detailed the challenge of taking on Melbourne, who are on a 15-match winning streak.

"We're not turning up our toes, we want to come in for a good experience and have a crack and see what we can do," Simpson said.

"It will be a good learning experience for (the players), but we want to stay on the front foot.

"One thing we're not doing is feeling sorry for ourselves. We've got to stay on task as best we can."

The Eagles have lost their past four matches by a combined 331 points in what marks the worst four-game stretch in the club's history.

Simpson saw some positive signs in the contested ball stakes during last week's 75-point loss to Brisbane, and it will continue to be a focus area for the remainder of the season.

Creating more inside 50s has also been a key focus.

"Getting back on the winners' list is important to us as well, but right now it's a challenge," Simpson said.

"We're trying to be competitive and at the moment we're trying to educate on the fly a little bit with where the game is at and what we need to do to get a little bit more supply."

Simpson is contracted to West Coast until the end of 2024, and he's squashed talk of him heading to North Melbourne.

Eagles chairman Russell Gibbs backed Simpson to take the club forward.

"This will include the rebuild of our list with a heavy focus on the AFL draft, just as we did last year when we focused on young talent drafting Campbell Chesser, Brady Hough, Rhett Bazzo, Jack Williams and the mature-aged Greg Clark," Gibbs wrote in an open letter.

The match on Sunday represents Melbourne's first return to Perth since winning the grand final against the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium last year.

Melbourne were given a boost when ruckman Max Gawn was named after being cleared of a knee injury.

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