It’s getting close to the stage of the season where things went pear-shaped for West Coast in 2013.
Losses in rounds 21, 22 and 23 averaged almost 72 points, with several key players already sidelined through injury.
It’s unknown how much those defeats helped to decide the fate of coach John Worsfold.
While the injury concerns have crept in again in 2014, Eagles midfielder Luke Shuey says the group is better prepared to make sure the same blow-outs didn’t occur.
He even seems to have finals still in his mind, despite West Coast being three wins from eighth spot, with only seven games remaining.
Matt Rosa will have surgery on Thursday on his torn pectorial that he received late in Sunday’s loss to Sydney and will miss the remainder of the season.
He joins Mitch Brown, Darren Glass (retired), Scott Selwood, Elliott Yeo and Beau Waters on the sidelines.
Josh Kennedy will also miss this week’s game against Brisbane at the Gabba after being suspended for one week for his high bump on the Swans Zak Jones.
Kennedy leads the Eagles goalkicking with 37 goals for the season.
“This is a must win game for us going into the bye, but I’m confident we can cover Joshy’s loss and should be capable of kicking a winning score," he said.
“We’ve seen Jeremey McGovern come in and show that he's more than capable of playing a key position role up forward for us, so if anything we’re spoilt for forwards.”
The Eagles don’t have the toughest run home, with only Collingwood (round 20) and Gold Coast (round 23) to play of the sides currently in the eight.
But they do face two sides - Adelaide in round 19 and Essendon in round 21 - who will be hoping to push the Eagles further down the ladder in the hope of seeing September action themselves.
Shuey says the club had progressed under new coach Adam Simpson and had shown in recent weeks against Sydney and Fremantle that there were a lot of positives.
“I think a lot has changed in terms of the way we’re playing,” he said.
“I think we have come a long way in terms our team defense and you hear a lot of coaches saying that if you play good defensive football it sets a lot up for your attacking side of the game.
“So, we just have to keep working at that and keep plugging away and we’re confident in the young guys coming in, like Dom (Sheed) and like Brant (Colledge) and we have seen Jack (Darling) go into the midfield more this year – we’re confident they are going to play their role and have good impact for us.
“You look at the best midfields in the competition and they go very deep in terms of midfield depth, so we would like to think this is an opportunity for us to test our depth and I’m positive we can stand up and make good things happen.”
Of their games remaining, the Eagles will fancy their chances against Melbourne (round 22), Richmond (round 18) and the Lions, this Saturday.
Brisbane has also lost a key player to suspension - Tom Rockliff (for striking Richmond’s Alex Rance) - but Shuey said the Eagles can’t afford to concentrate on who the Lions will have missing from their line-up.
“I think it’s always dangerous if you start looking at the outs and banking on that – banking on the fact that’s going to get you the win, so we won’t be looking too much into that,” he said.
“They beat North Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, who are a pretty good team, so it shows they are capable of playing some pretty good footy, despite who is out this week.
“It’s a tough road trip, we have always had a tough tussle with Brisbane up there, so we get over the line this week it would be great.”