GEELONG coach Chris Scott believes the reigning premiers have a “huge opportunity” to lift their “average” season in the run home to finals.
The seventh-placed Cats, face a tough task in coming weeks, facing the league’s top six teams, starting with Collingwood this Saturday at the MCG.
“In some respects it’s a little bit daunting, especially for the people looking in from the outside,” Scott said.
“But we are treating it as a huge opportunity. We have a chance to test ourselves in the way we play against the good teams. We have a chance to take points away from them. We have a big chance to really improve the way that we are playing and there’s no better time to do that than against the really good sides.”
The Cats narrowly staved off an unsually uncompetitive Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, beating the home team by 14 points.
Still Scott believes the Cats can dramatically lift their form to ensure they are playing their best football as the season nears its pointy end.
“Absolutely I think we can (have a big jump in form). As I said the preference is to be playing better but there is no reason why we can’t play really well this week.
“It would be probably easier for us to be playing really well and continue that form into this week rather than to be playing average footy and then play really well, but it doesn’t make it impossible.
“I was asked the question post game on the weekend: ‘Do you think you can win on the weekend?’ Of course we can. Of course we can. I’m not saying we are going to. But if we play near our best, absolutely we can win. Not only this week, but every other game we play in the rest of the year.”
Collingwood defeated Geelong by 12 points in the dying seconds of their last meeting in round eight.
Scott took heart from the game and believed the Cats game style could still “stand up” to the Pies.
“I don’t think there’s been significant change in the way the two teams will approach it, so we know we need to play our best to go with them.
“They have been playing pretty good footy, especially before the weekend, so it’s going to be a big challenge.
“(But) I think we have got a pretty good record against Collingwood. I mean, apparently we were playing pretty poorly before we played them last time and scores were level with 90 seconds to go, so we think our method is OK against them, but we are not hiding away from the fact that we need to play a little bit better than we are to compete with them.”
Geelong will most likely without power forward James Podsiadly, who missed last week with an ankle.
He will have a fitness test last this week, but Scott conceded that Podsiadly, who did not join full training this morning, would probably be ruled out.
“It’s a bit hard to say. He didn’t do anything last week. We ruled him out probably mid week so that would mean he’s in doubt for this week.
“We’ll train later in the week and probably give him until Thursday and Friday before we make a call. At the moment, speculating, I’d say he’d be in doubt. But as I said he hasn’t tested it so we don’t really know.”
The Cats will also be missing 2007 Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel who has accepted a suspension after striking Gold Coast’s Trent McKenzie behind play.
“We are disappointed he is not going to be available but we understand things happen,” Scott said.
“Jimmy is a very experienced player. He has got a pretty good record, everyone respects him as a ball player, so we’ll treat it as an isolated incident and move on.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.