Simpson backs Eagles to rebound from flop

Justin Chadwick
Adam Simpson has vowed to look after his young players following Friday's loss to Essendon

West Coast coach Adam Simpson will ensure the club remains a "sanctuary" for his players in the wake of their first-quarter flop against Essendon on Thursday night.

The Eagles conceded the first eight goals of the match on the way to the 28-point loss.

It was West Coast's second defeat in a row, following on from last week's 15-point loss to Sydney.

Simpson expects the critics will start lining up following the consecutive defeats, and he wants to make sure the club's players - especially the youngsters - are protected from it.

"A bit of white noise is going to come. We've been there, done that a little bit," Simpson said.

"I've got the players' back. Our club is a sanctuary when they come into it, and that won't change.

"Whether we've won by 10 or lost by 10, we still back them in."

The scoreboard read 50-1 early in the second quarter before West Coast finally produced some fight.

But their waywardness in front of goal cost them dearly from that point on, with Essendon winning 12.8 (80) to 6.16 (52).

The absence of Jack Darling (ankle) and Josh Kennedy (leg) robbed West Coast of their two best forwards, with the Eagles failing to kick a winning score despite winning the inside 50m count 59-45.

Simpson doesn't feel there's any need to implement major changes to the team's game plan.

Instead, he wants to see his players display more spirit.

"That's been a real hallmark of our performances, and the kids have energised us this year," Simpson said.

"But that doesn't last all year. We need to find ways to keep the energy going."

Kennedy, who has a hairline fracture in his right leg, is a slight chance to return against the Crows at Adelaide Oval next week.

"It's not a significant injury. There's nothing wrong with his knee," Simpson said.

"He'll no doubt challenge us I'd suspect (to push his case for selection), and I'll be challenging our medical department."