West Coast bans concern Worsfold

Sportal July 11, 2012, 5:18 pm
John Worsfold

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West Coast coach John Worsfold insists his side does not have a discipline problem but says he is getting worried by their growing number of suspensions.

The Eagles attempted to have bans handed to Luke Shuey (striking) and Quinten Lynch (tripping) overturned at the tribunal on Tuesday night, but failed on both counts.

Shuey's charge was downgraded, but he will still miss two weeks, while Lynch was ruled out for Sunday's top-of-the-table clash with Sydney.

Those bans continued West Coast's poor run at the tribunal this season, with six separate suspensions totalling nine weeks harming their top-four run.

Worsfold said the continued ill-discipline was frustrating but not necessarily a widespread issue.

"I'd like to think there's not (a discipline problem), but I would be concerned if it happens with similar incidents in the future," he said.

"The two from the weekend were avoidable. We've got to be better than that."

Worsfold said he had addressed the issue with the group in the hope of reducing the impact of suspensions as the Eagles aim to secure a top-four spot for the second consecutive season.

"We spoke basically about how it does impact the team this week and next week, not having those guys available," he said.

"Our squad is aware they've got a responsibility to each other to be available when you're fit."

Shuey's suspension was his second this season, as he also received a one-match ban for striking Fremantle's Paul Duffield off the ball in Round 9.

But Worsfold rejected suggestions the young midfielder should be taught a lesson by having to return through the WAFL rather than coming straight back into the team to face Brisbane in Round 18.

"We've got things in place, but we're not going to punish the team and our ability to perform as a group," he said.

"Luke's feeling bad enough, I can honestly say that. He feels like he's let the players down, and that is a pretty strong lesson."

The discipline issues are compounded by West Coast's injury woes, which were added to when it was confirmed in-form defender Beau Waters would miss up to five weeks after minor knee surgery.

Waters joins Andrew Embley, Mark LeCras, Josh Kennedy, Mark Nicoski, Shuey and Lynch as best-22 players ruled out this week, but the Eagles will welcome back Adam Selwood after he made a successful return in the WAFL last week.

Worsfold also flagged young key forward Fraser McInnes as a likely debutant and he would face a significant task to provide a target in attack for a team which is without five of their six highest goalkickers from 2011.

West Coast will almost certainly be top at the end of the round if they beat the Swans but will likely drop out of the top four if their 18-game Patersons Stadium winning streak ends.

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