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Lions ready for ‘emotional’ Eagles

AFL Rd 16 - Brisbane v Melbourne
Jarrod Berry (right) will make his 150th AFL appearance on Sunday. Picture: Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images

Milestone man Jarrod Berry expects a passionate display from West Coast on Sunday following the sacking of Eagles coach Adam Simpson but is adamant the “result will take care of itself” if the Lions play to their potential.

The resurgent Brisbane will chase a sixth successive win in the Optus Stadium battle against a struggling Eagles side that will be guided by interim mentor Jarrad Schofield following this week’s axing of premiership-winning coach Simpson.

When asked if the Lions were preparing for an “emotional” West Coast performance, Berry said it was to be expected.

However, he played down the well-worn theory that teams whose coach has been sacked bounce back immediately with a victory.

AFL Rd 17 - Melbourne v West Coast
The sacking of Adam Simpson has the Lions expecting an ‘emotional’ display from the Eagles on Sunday. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos/via Getty Images

“The typical thing is that if you sack a coach, everyone says that you win the next game, but I think the stats actually say that it’s nearly around 50-50,” said the 26-year-old midfielder, who will make his 150th AFL appearance this weekend.

“Nothing really changes for us, to be honest. Whether it’s `Simmo’ coaching or anyone, it’s about us when we go over there and playing our style of play.

“We’ve been playing with real great momentum, but at this point, we’ve got some tweaks in our game that we need to get better at, and that’s just the journey of the season.

“It’s important that you keep looking with a growth mindset to try to get better every week. That’s what we’re going to do on the weekend.

“It’s important that our processes are strong and they’re consistent. If we can do that, the result will look after itself.”

Depending on results this weekend, the Lions could be in the top four by Sunday night as they continue their comeback from a poor start to the season.

“We don’t really look at the ladder in terms of where we are position-wise,” Berry said.

“We’ve just going to focus on the next week, so that’s what we’ve been doing and I reckon you’ve seen our football grow and improve over two months, three months now.”

The form of Berry, who last week signed a five-year contract extension, has been crucial to Brisbane’s collective improvement.

“I’m one of those guys that will play anywhere. I’m just happy playing my role for the side,” he said.

“It looks different week to week. Some weeks it’s tagging, some weeks it’s playing on-ball with a bit of freedom, and then other weeks it’s playing on the wing, so I think that’s a real strength of mine being versatile, and I look forward to bringing that for many years to come.”

The Lions have suffered an injury blow, with defender Jack Payne to be sidelined for up to six weeks due to bone stress in his right foot.