Cats still building to AFL peak, says Scott
Geelong coach Chris Scott says the reigning AFL premiers have set themselves to peak at finals time and are steadily approaching their best.
Consecutive losses to Adelaide and Collingwood have the Cats sitting in 10th spot and observers questioning whether their golden era of the past five years is over.
But Scott said with the grand finalists having started their pre-season later than the rest of the competition, a modest start was no shock, with the only really concerning performance against the Crows.
“Every other game we’ve been extremely competitive,” Scott said.
“We always felt our season would build off the back of a solid pre-season, albeit an abbreviated one compared to other clubs.
“We are designing our year to play our best footy when it counts.
“Now you’ve got to make sure that you get there, so that you’re competing when it counts.
“But all the things we’ve put in place suggest that we will improve.”
Scott saw signs in last Friday night’s narrow loss to Collingwood that his side were returning to top form, although he would not publicly detail them.
“You’re just going to have to take my word for it that we think we’re improving,” he said.
The Cats opened last season with a 13-game winning streak, including five wins by two goals or less.
This year, they have already lost two games by less than that margin, but Scott said luck largely accounted for that difference.
“The biggest difference is we got over the line perhaps fortunately in a few of those close games and this year we haven’t,” he said.
“We don’t think there’s a stark difference in terms of the way we’re playing.”
The Cats should regain veteran defender Matthew Scarlett from an ankle injury against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.
Scott said backman Josh Hunt had his unequivocal support, after copping criticism from some high-profile ex-players for a perceived lack of courage in a marking contest against the Magpies.
Former Cat Cameron Mooney joined the critics on Tuesday, saying he and ex-Geelong skipper Cameron Ling were watching the game together and had their heads in their hands over Hunt’s effort.
“That was a really bad moment in his career and unfortunately he’s going to have to live with it,” Mooney told SEN Radio.
Scott refused to divulge his reaction.
“The only thing I’ll say is those things will stay in-house and Josh has our utmost support,” he said.© AAP 2013