Bulldogs AFL horror show puzzles Beveridge

Justin Chadwick
Luke Beveridge isn't sure where it's going wrong for the Bulldogs after a fourth loss in five games

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge admits he was left scratching his head by his team's "total breakdown in skill" during their 54-point AFL loss to Fremantle.

The Bulldogs' horror show included a host of comical turnovers by foot that killed the side's chances of victory on Saturday.

Beveridge's outfit is a shadow of the team that won the 2016 flag, with the Bulldogs now sitting at 1-4 and facing a mammoth task to make the finals.

The Bulldogs opened their season with two bad losses but showed some good fight against Essendon and Sydney over the past fortnight.

They took a major step backwards against the Dockers, however, with Beveridge left frustrated by their over-use of the ball and simple skill errors.

"You scratch your head a bit. We're better than that," Beveridge said when asked about some of their kicking turnovers.

"As a coach I believe in our players and their capabilities, so in some ways it becomes surprising when you have a total breakdown in skill or there's a perceived pressure that creeps into one or two of your players' heads.

"Sometimes with younger players it's just par for the course and that's going to take a while to work itself out.

"But all we can do is keep developing them and putting time into them during the week and reminding them that they are better players than they showed and stay positive."

The Bulldogs have a chance to bounce back over the next three weeks when they take on strugglers Carlton, Gold Coast, and Brisbane.

But they will be without veteran Tory Dickson, who tore his left hamstring against the Dockers.

Lachie Hunter will return from suspension for Friday night's clash with Carlton, while Beveridge said Bailey Williams (ear infection) and Hayden Crozier could also come under consideration.

Premiership forward Tom Boyd kicked just two goals from seven disposals against the Dockers in his first match of the year but Beveridge said he saw enough encouraging signs from the 22-year-old.

"He took some bites and kicked two goals. That's good," Beveridge said.

"He's been out of the game for some time, so positive signs for Tom."