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BILL GETS GRILLED – BILL MONAGHAN ROUND 18 Q & A

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 9:38 PM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan spoke after the Falcons' 53-point win against Perth at Lathlain Park and looks ahead to this Saturday's clash with South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

QUESTION: After about six weeks and four games without a win, it must just be nice to get a win on the board again and sitting two games clear in fifth?
ANSWER:
That's the benefit of winning some games early on. Everyone's been making judgements on our form and that's fair enough because we had lost four in-a-row, but we lost to the three top sides who most people think are going better than most, and we lost in a very ordinary kicking display against Claremont by two points. We haven’t felt as though our form has been terrible but clearly it hasn’t been good enough to win and we are in the business of winning. It was good to get back out there after the players had been challenged to fix a few minor things that have crept into our game and we made some inroads into those. Again we had 36 scoring shots and it would have been nice to sneak a couple more goals in because it's another week where we didn’t kick more goals than points. There has only been four of those all year so it would have been good to have managed that, but we got a couple late which gives us some confidence going forward.

Q: You aren't going to lose too many games when your midfield is that dominant led by Shane Nelson's 51 possessions, and you have two key forwards combining for 13 goals?
A:
Nelly was outstanding and I thought VB led the troops well and Aaron Black was outstanding. Obviously we had a couple of good forwards who hit the scoreboard but I was equally impressed with some of our backs. I thought Ben King continued some really good form, Kris Shannon ran really hard off half-back and so did Blake Wilhelm. Mark Hamilton continues to do a job for us too. But we have to keep all of that in perspective and without being disrespectful to Perth, they have only won two games all year so we would have been disappointed to not come here and win. A 53-point win is a fair result but it did feel like we should have won by a little bit more.

Q: How do you rate that performance by Shane Nelson?
A:
It's probably the nine inside 50s that we believe is an area that Shane can really improve in. We critique other players in the competition about how impactful they are forward of centre so you see a lot of numbers where they have high numbers but relatively low inside 50s. Nelly often falls into that category but this week he had nine inside 50s, kicked a goal, had 11 clearances and he had a good mix between contested and uncontested possessions. I would be a harsh coach if didn’t say that was a good day at the office for him.

Q: How much of a confidence boost does a solid win like that give the team?
A:
I don’t think we have been that far off an we might have been going at 95, 96, 97 per cent but the outside perception is that we've been really struggling. Confidence is something that's difficult to coach, some might say it's impossible to coach. So, this week is reward for the fact that I've been telling them it's not that far off and we just need to improve in a few areas. I think we made significant inroads into some of them but the challenge will be next week doing it against one of the very best sides in the competition and not one with only two wins.

Q: How are you starting to look personnel wise now after a tough run?
A:
Mike Lourey will be back in a couple of weeks, Simpson will be back and Munns and Potente should be just about right as well. We've been hit with a fairly ordinary stick of injuries of late so it would be nice if we can start to get some players back over the next couple of weeks.

Q: Are you reasonably happy with where you sit to be two games clear in the top five with the challenges you've had?
A:
The short answer has to be yes but whilst I look at ladders and worry about results and stuff like that, it's a very small part of my job and makes up a very small part of my week. It's more about what we need to do to play our very best football and then if our very best football is good enough, we'll win. That's the motto we have. But it does get difficult when you've lost a couple on the trot, but the flipside of that is that sometimes you get too comfortable when you are winning games and you don’t analyse enough where you can still improve. That might have been what happened when we had that streak of winning five in-a-row. So there's lessons to be learned from winning and losing, but in my opinion you get more lessons from losing because you tend to not take them as seriously when you win. Confidence is a big part of it and the players should gain some from a performance like that.