Adam Simpson's swipe at Nathan Buckley and co after shock West Coast win

West Coast's coach took a telling swipe after his side's stunning upset of the Western Bulldogs.

Pictured left to right, Adam Simpson and Nathan Buckley.
Adam Simpson hit back at suggestions from Nathan Buckley and others that his West Coast side were guilty of tanking to secure the No.1 draft pick. Pic: getty

Under-fire West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson has responded to his side's upset win over the Western Bulldogs, by hitting back at Nathan Buckley and other critics who had suggested they were tanking in the round 21 loss to Essendon. The Eagles jumped off the bottom of the AFL ladder after a stunning upset win against the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

It was just the Eagles' fifth victory in their past 48 games and sees them leapfrog North Melbourne, who now occupy the wooden spoon spot on the ladder. Crucially though, it now means unless the Kangaroos win their final regular season game against the Gold Coast, they will be in the box seat to pick up this year's nominal No.1 draft pick, Harley Reid.

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Buckley was among those to suggest that Simpson's side wanted to keep their spot on the bottom of the ladder so they would have first crack at Reid. His comments came after West Coast opted not to drop a man behind the ball while leading by five points late in the contest against Essendon, which they ultimately lost by one point.

Speaking after Sunday's stunning upset win though, a fired up Simpson said he took exception to the tanking allegations after the Eagles effectively put the argument to bed. It came after a tumultuous week for the 2018 premiership-winning coach, in which Eddie McGuire and others claimed the West Coast board was considering firing the long-time coach.

"Last week was pretty heavy but I was more disappointed about the criticism about the tanking stuff, like that probably cut me a bit deeper, so put that to bed (with the win against the Bulldogs)," Simpson said on Sunday. "It was a flippant comment by a few people about the Essendon game and strategically we tried to manipulate the games that we lose, and that's just not on.

"It's hard to respond because you don't want to, but I have now so bad luck. We move on real quick, not stressed too much, but at the time, thinking 'really? Is that what you think we do?'.

"As a club, we would take this win any day of the week to help build what we're trying to do in the future." West Coast will avoid claiming the club's second successive wooden spoon if North Melbourne fail to beat Gold Coast in Hobart next week - a result that would effectively rule them out of the running for the No.1 draft pick-in-waiting.

Seen here, West Coast celebrate their stunning upset win over the Western Bulldogs.
West Coast's stunning upset win over the Western Bulldogs lifted them off the bottom of the ladder. Pic: AAP

West Coast move off the bottom of the ladder

Reid has been at the centre of intense speculation over his future, with whispers he would prefer not to move to Western Australia. A SEN report this week also claimed Reid liked an Instagram post about Simpson's job at the Eagles being under threat.

"I feel for Harley," Simpson said. "My son's (mate) liked the same thing, so maybe that should be on the back page. I said 'what's going on? Three of your mates, take them to footy training all the time and they want me to get get the flick? Just had a laugh. Reckons he just likes everything, this kid."

The Eagles finish their season against the Crows on Saturday night, who are out of finals contention after a controversial match-defining goal ruling against the Swans. Simpson said regardless of his side's stunning victory, he understands his role as head coach remains under a massive cloud.

"Whatever happens with me, I suspect it shouldn't change... the decision for me is not based on today or last week, it's based on how they see it going forward. And whatever they (West Coast's board) decide, they decide," he said.

with AAP

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