“I think every club who has a sniff of what’s up ahead finds themselves at times preoccupied with what the possibilities are … We’re no different to that.”
But he didn’t defend the team from criticism they copped earlier in the season after defeats by low-performing teams Gold Coast and Carlton.
“We shouldn’t get any credit. At one point not so recently, pretty recently, we hadn’t won many games so I totally understand it,” he said.
When asked if there was complacency among the players when playing teams near the foot of the ladder, he stressed the need for “even contribution”.
“We can’t afford to have one or two of our guys being slightly off. We just get opened up,” he said.
“We’ve learnt some lessons. That’s the great thing about our group. There’s chemistry there, we’re playing better. Our backs are working well.”
The coach said he wanted the team to be versatile, so that adjustments can be made to the game strategy on a week-by-week basis.
“We can create winning formulas, without being so complicated. Because essentially the players have still got to enjoy what they do,” he said.
In an update on injuries, he said Tom Liberatore would train on Thursday and was “doing well” but needed another week before returning.
“It’s not really conservative, it’s just common sense. He should be right to go next week, this week would be rushing it,” Beveridge said.
Bailey Dale would be a “consideration for selection” but would likely play VFL level.
“Logically you think he should play … He’s just on the edge of coming in,” he said.
Charlotte is a reporter for The Age.