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Grim winless run a ‘reality’ Crows won’t hide from: Nicks

“We haven’t won a game for the season and it’s tough.

“You go back to process, you go back to what it is that’s going to get you the ultimate outcome. We are not getting the process right, so it’s not rocket science.

“[We] just didn’t really bring it, unfortunately. Outmuscled, beaten in contests convincingly.

“The area we focus mainly on at this point [is] trying to keep ourselves in the fight and come away from games proud of what we put out there. We were not doing that today.”

Veterans Rory Sloane and Taylor Walker were poor, but Nicks said criticising just them was unfair.

“It’s hard to put it on one player after a performance like that,” the coach said. “And I am really mindful of us going there because, goodness me, playing in our forward line today would have been a tough, tough gig.

Aaron Naughton is mobbed by teammates after one of his six goals.

Aaron Naughton is mobbed by teammates after one of his six goals. Credit:Getty Images

“There’s 22 players sitting there at a moment, we’re all searching.”

Nicks said he wasn’t personally feeling the pressure of being a winless coach, having taken over at the start of 2020.

“It’s not my win. I want a result for the players so they believe we are heading in the right direction,” he said.

“We take steps up the ladder and drop back down with games like this.

“But we will keep climbing, we will keep working on it. It’d be nice for our group, for everyone to get a result.”

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said his side wasn’t perfect in the game, but he was particularly happy with the way the midfield completely dominated their opposition, and Aaron Naughton’s six-goal bag.

“We need to continue to go to school on probably our ball use as much as anything because I felt some of those blatant turnovers just really hurt us going the full length of the ground at times,” Beveridge said.

“But I was so pleased, we had so many different role players today, and in a team that was piecemeal. It was put together through some lads who have earned an opportunity, and some boys who have probably gone back to where they started in our back end, such as Roarke Smith and Ed Richards.

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“Really pleased with how functional we were all through the lines, but we probably let them score too much.”

He also praised Lachie Hunter who returned from a break for personal reasons, and who was linked with a move away from the Bulldogs during the week, which Beveridge denied. Hunter also grabbed his shirt in a goal celebration in an obvious response to the report.

“He [Hunter] has been an important player for our club for a long time and we miss his work. He showed this afternoon what he is capable of,” Beveridge said.

“That’s great for him because it’s been a difficult time for him.

“He’s always been invested … he is an influencer, not in a social media sense in a football club sense. He has great care and empathy for his teammates and his words and actions really marry up.”

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