Eagles ready for Cat fight
West Coast Eagles defender Liam Duggan says his side is ready for Geelong's best football at GMHBA Stadium, as his side chases their first win at the venue in 15 years.
The Eagles last win at the ground was in 2006, when the visitors famously overcame a 54 point third quarter deficit to record a memorable three point triumph.
Speaking on Sports Breakfast on Thursday, Duggan said the side was well prepared for the Cats.
"It's going to be a challenge, Geelong are really tough to beat at home. We've acknowledged that. We will be backing ourselves in." he said.
West Coast have lost their past six matches at the venue by an average losing margin of 59 points, struggling to adapt to the thinner dimensions of the Cats ground, which is 170 m x 115 m compared to Optus Stadium dimensions, which is 180 m x 142 m.
Duggan said the ground held no fears for the Eagles despite their poor recent record.
"We hold no fear in going over there, they have a great supporter base. Our history over there hasn't been great over the last 15 years.
"We hold no fear in going over there, that's the attitude we have got to bring. We trained with a skinny ground yesterday to get more of a feel for it, but there is no excuse (for a poor performance)."
Adam Simpson's side flew out on Thursday on a chartered flight that took them straight to Avalon Airport, 15 km from Geelong's CBD compared to Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport, which is 85 km away.
Duggan said the flight was designed around making the trip more comfortable for the players.
"You get off a three and a half hour flight from Melbourne and then a further hour and a half to Geelong it starts adding up," he said.
"You get in to the hotel a lot later, your routine starts to become a little bit out of whack which can have a negative effect on your preparation.
"The closer we can get to where we are staying the better it is."
The match looms as a crunch clash for both clubs, sitting on 3-2 records after five rounds with both teams coming off wins in round five.
Josh Kennedy has been ruled out of the clash with an ankle injury sustained against Collingwood, while Cats star midfielder Patrick Dangerfield has been sent for surgery on a syndesmosis injury that will rule him out for up to two months.
Duggan said the Eagles would cover the loss of their spearhead, praising the improvement of young forward Oscar Allen.
"It's great to see Ozzie (Allen) coming through with the goods, he's going to be quite the player. He's doing it early in his career which is really exciting."
Liam Duggan joins Jacob Landsmeer and Wayne Clark weekly on Sports Breakfast thanks to station sponsors SKG Radiology and Telstra Business Centre Perth South.