Bulldogs vow to adapt after AFL injuries

Rob Forsaith
The Bulldogs will miss Sam Lloyd and Aaron Naughton but they will adapt, coach Luke Beveridge says

Western Bulldogs are confident they will adapt without injured key forward Aaron Naughton, who will miss at least one AFL game barring a "miracle".

The Bulldogs' 28-point win over Sydney at the SCG on Thursday night was soured by setbacks for Naughton (ankle) and Sam Lloyd (shoulder).

Naughton looked set for a big night, booting a goal in the opening term and setting up another with a courageous mark, but failed to return to the field after quarter-time.

The young gun finished the game in crutches and appears almost certain to miss at least the club's clash with North Melbourne in round five.

"We will miss him, but we'll find a way. Someone else will come in and play a role," coach Luke Beveridge said.

"You need to adapt.

"Maybe there's a miracle and he plays next week, who knows.

"But yeah if he's out, he's going to be a difficult player to replace."

Beveridge suggested it was too early to confidently predict how long Naughton and Lloyd, who was injured in the third term, might be sidelined for.

The 2016 premiership coach praised his side, who have banked back-to-back wins after a sluggish start to the stop-start season, for digging deep against the Swans.

"Late in the game, because we numbers down, I went down to the bench which is unusual for me," Beveridge said.

"Just to organise more than anything.

"We just had to work our way through it. Everyone managed it really well."

Beveridge added his team had built "solid belief in what we're capable of" during the past fortnight.

Ruckman Tim English, who played arguably the best game of his 33-match career, was among the Bulldogs to spend extra minutes on the ground as they attempted to rejig their rotations.

"He had to stay out there. He was out there for almost the whole game," Beveridge said.

"It was a prime example of what he's capable of, a terrific performance.

"Tim's growing all the time. We just have to keep working on his strengths."