Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 11:06 PM by Chris Pike

WEST Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan offered his thoughts on Saturday's 47-point loss to South Fremantle that leaves the Falcons needing to beat East Perth this Saturday at HBF Arena to remain in the WAFL top five.

QUESTION: You appeared to match South Fremantle virtually in every area except the scoreboard, what's your reaction to that game?
My first reaction is that I'd like to think it's an improvement but the scoreboard says it's identical to the last game. It's hard to argue it's an improvement but if you look at a lot of the statistics around why I think it was an improvement, last time it was 31 scoring shots to 14 and this week it's 26 to 24. Last time we had a negative 30-odd inside-50 count and this week it was negative eight. We were able to compete a lot better but unfortunately the result was the same. Every side has its degree of injuries but given where we were and then losing Andrew in the first quarter clearly didn’t help. We had another couple of issues during the game and whilst blokes were able to play the game out, we had two or three other guys who were battling through and who we might lose as a result next week. Our stocks are starting to get pretty thin. We brought six guys up from the colts into the reserves over the last two weeks and hopefully we'll get some reinforcements back like Ben King, Steve Potente, Mark Hamilton, Dean Munns and Michael Lourey is due to play at some stage in the next week or two. It would be nice to get a few back but with East Perth winning, we are only a game inside the five. But the beauty is we play them now and if we happen to beat them we'll be a good chance of still staying there.

Q: I agree that you were much more competitive against them than probably the last four times. The only difference was them kicking more accurately than you would expect in those conditions?
It probably wasn’t so much that they kicked great goals, they just got the ones they should have got and got the ball into good scoring areas. When I go back to the margin, we kicked 11.13 but if we turned that into 15.9 or something like that then it is probably a lot fairer of a margin. But the bottom line is that we lost by 47 and we let them too many easy goals on transition which has been a bit of a pattern for us this year. 

Q: Corey Chalmers had another strong game and he's one player who has taken the next step with increased opportunities this year?
Corey's been a really talented junior player and it has taken him a little while to cement a spot in our side, but he's been playing really good footy. But he is one who given his kicking ability he has left a few out on the park over a number of weeks and when between Keitel, Strijk and Chalmers we've had enough scoring shots to trouble most sides, they have kicked a combined 80.89 on the season. Corey is doing enough but we are probably just batting a little thin at the moment. 

Q: Your numbers in the midfield were great and you seemed to match South Fremantle pretty well in there, were you happy with that or do they still need to be a bit more damaging?
Yes they've got to be more damaging and it feels like when you play against South that Schloithe and Kelly tear you apart with their impact on goals and dominating clearances, but you put their raw numbers up against our blokes and our numbers more than compete with them. This week in the conditions Kelly and Schloithe didn’t kick statistically better than us, they didn’t have any more clearances or shots on goal than our blokes. But once again as a team if they kicked 16.10 and we kicked 14.10 it wouldn’t be as noticeable a gap between the two so in a lot of ways it's purely about what happens in front of goals. Only four times for the year have we kicked more goals than point, that's bad football and we need to get better at it. It's a hard one to judge, but I thought Nelly was outstanding and I would be surprised if there was a better midfielder on the ground albeit Kelly, Schloithe and Hockey were pretty good. But I would have thought Nelly was better than all of them.

Q: Every game is big from now on obviously but East Perth on Saturday is massive with your fifth spot on the line?
We are a game ahead of them so in a lot of ways we control our own destiny, but it's a huge game especially given they beat Claremont to be just a game behind us. But all we can do is go out to play our very best football and hope that's good enough.