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BILL GETS GRILLED – BILL MONAGHAN ROUND 20 Q & A

Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 9:28 AM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan discusses Saturday's loss to Subiaco at Kingsway Reserve, looks at Andrew Strijk's form as a forward and where the Falcons have to lift ahead of Saturday's clash with Claremont at HBF Arena.

QUESTION: It was a tough day all-round on Saturday against Subiaco, I'm not sure you would have seen much to like?
ANSWER: We were well beaten in most areas. We were outmuscled around the contest, our stoppage work was average at times and our ball use, and ball movement was terrible. There's a lot of work to do and sometimes that stuff happens, but it provides a lot of opportunities for us to learn and work out where we can get better. But Subiaco is sitting a couple of games clear on top of the ladder so at least we were beaten by a good side, that's one thing at least.

Q: I'm not sure if the teams themselves enjoyed the experience at Kingsway even though a lot of work was done to make it a good day for a strong crowd. If you always had the choice, would you prefer to stick to playing at WAFL grounds?
A: I think that would be the case with any coach or any club, but it is what it is. Subiaco and East Perth were both drawn to have a home game on the weekend and Subi chose to move the game, which is their choice so there's no point worrying about it. It was the same for both sides. The surface was a bit slippery but that would have been the case at most grounds on Saturday. It's really neither here nor there for me. If we won we might have said we wanted to play there every week, but we lost and it's a venue we'd avoid if we have the choice but I don’t have a great comment on it really.

Q: Andrew Strijk continues to really deliver as a forward and it's probably not something you had in mind at the start of the year, but I'm sure you will stick with it now?
A: There's probably only one bloke in the club who doesn’t think that's a good move and that's Andrew himself. He has made much of his career based around playing back and he's been outstanding in that role, and we still think when the time is right and the opposition is right, and the game dictates it that he can play back. But we've tried to find a number of people who can go forward to kick goals and have an impact, but unfortunately for Andrew and great for us he is playing some really good footy. That's his third four-goal haul for the year and he was outstanding on Saturday. Whilst Subi had three or four players who might get top votes and best on ground honours, Andrew's ball handling, ball use and attack on the footy was outstanding. He took seven contested marks and he looked clean, and his finishing was outstanding. I reckon he was close to best on ground in what was a terrible performance by the team.

Q: The conditions were tough and it was a physical game with Shane Nelson not the only one to come out of it sick and sorry. Drew Rohde would now have to be in doubt for this week and perhaps a couple of others?
A: Drew Rohde will be highly doubtful to play on Saturday. He copped a Kody Manning hit in a marking contest and went to sleep for a couple of minutes, so I don’t think even if he tried to tell me that he was OK that there is much chance he will play. That was a significant hit. We have another couple of people who are battling with some niggly stuff. The week after we do have the bye and it's not easy to tell players that they will need some management to not play this week when we have a bye, but a couple of them are things where if we push them too hard it might turn into something worse. There is two or three who are 50-50 to play on Saturday and it wouldn’t surprise me if we made up to four changes from the weekend, and none of those would be due to form. They will all be injury-related.

Q: Interesting game against Claremont now on Saturday because they are a dangerous opponent and you need to win to stay third?
A: First of all, we are nowhere near safe where we are. If we win both our games we will finish third, if we win one of them it will be 50-50 and if we can't win another one we'll probably finish fourth or fifth. I expect it to be a hotly contested game and Claremont have nothing to lose. They are still a mathematical chance of sneaking into the finals and they need to win to keep that hope alive. That makes them a dangerous opponent and we know they have some good quality through the midfield, and dangerous targets up forward. They will be throwing caution to the wind and they were outstanding last week against Swans, and more importantly were even better the week before against Peel Thunder. We will have to be at our best and I would expect that after our average performance on Saturday that the players are smarting from that, and will come out and play the brand of footy that we've played over the last 10 or 12 weeks.