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Eagles aim for quick fix as pressure builds on Simpson

West Coast defender Jayden Hunt says there was no excuse for last week's flop against Hawthorn, as the Eagles attempt to turn things around in Sunday's AFL clash with Melbourne at the MCG.

The pressure on West Coast coach Adam Simpson has been burning hot all week on the back of his side's horror 61-point home loss to Hawthorn.

West Coast were smashed in disposals (426-278), inside-50s (60-33), clearances (38-21), centre clearances (14-4) and marks inside 50m (22-4).

Making the defeat even more disastrous was the fact West Coast were fielding their strongest squad in years.

The ugly defeat has put Simpson's future again in jeopardy, and Hunt said it was up to the player group to turn things around.

Jayden Hunt (left) and coach Adam Simpson (right).
Jayden Hunt (left) says coach Adam Simpson (right) is not to blame for the Eagles' slump. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

"We've got no excuses. We had the cattle on the park, and to put in that performance is disappointing," he said.

"You can either separate as a group or come together and galvanise.

"We just need to come together, be really honest with each other where it went wrong and improve from there.

"We need to pride ourselves on our contest, and that's going to be our focus. I think it can be a really quick fix."

Simpson is contracted until the end of 2025 and says he has no plans to step away early.

"I just don't ride the roller-coaster like what the media do," he said.

"It felt like we took a step backwards last week from what's been a reasonably positive season, so we need to respond this week.

"It starts with effort. We looked really flat (against Hawthorn), so the players took some of the meetings this week.

"Hopefully we get a response."

West Coast have lost ruckman Matt Flynn to an ankle injury, meaning Bailey Williams will be thrust into battle against star Melbourne big man Max Gawn.

Sunday's match will mark the 150-game milestone of former Demon Hunt, who has now played 35 games for the Eagles since crossing at the end of 2022.

The Demons have been boosted by the return of Jake Melksham, who will be playing his first AFL match since tearing his ACL on the eve of last year's finals series.

Christian Salem and Jake Bowey also return, but Harrison Petty (hamstring) goes out of the side, along with omitted duo Kynan Brown and Adam Tomlinson.

The Demons were torn to shreds by Harley Reid when West Coast posted a shock 35-point win in Perth seven weeks ago.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin will have more plans up his sleeve this time around in a bid to halt the influence of the star No.1 draft pick.

The Demons (8-7) entered the round in 12th spot, and another loss to West Coast could prove disastrous for their finals hopes.