West Coast coach Adam Simpson is refusing to use the absence of forward linchpins Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Mark LeCras as an excuse for Saturday's 10-point loss to Adelaide.
The Eagles' makeshift forward line, spearheaded by strong-marking Jeremy McGovern, made the most of their chances for three quarters but was starved of any play in a lopsided final term.
Simpson acknowledged the injured Kennedy (knee), Darling (ankle) and LeCras (wrist) would have had little impact with the Crows smashing West Coast in fourth-quarter contested possessions (49-28), clearances (16-6) and inside 50s (24-4).
"We need our good players and leaders playing but the issue wasn't our forward line in the last quarter," Simpson said.
"Around the ball is where we got beat.
"McGovern and some of the young players are getting a good learning experience at the moment - they're trying their hardest."
The patched-up forward line will be tested again next Sunday against Greater Western Sydney with all three premier forwards expected to be missing again, LeCras most likely to return the following week against Collingwood.
"Pretty slim I suppose, from what we're hearing," Simpson said when asked of the prospects of the forward trio being available against the Giants.
"It's a great learning curve for your depth and your kids.
"We'll keep fighting forward through that."
Despite the Eagles plunging to their third straight loss, Simpson is confident his charges can regroup and maintain their push for top spot.
"I think we can turn it around pretty quick," he said.
"Every club at stages will go through situations like this.
"We had a good run where we won 10 games in a row.
"We've banked that - no-one can take that away from us.
"The season is still very much alive."