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Defiant Eagles aim to topple Magpies

West Coast coach Adam Simpson remains adamant his team can still be “part of the action” later this year, and he wants to kick off proceedings with a win against Collingwood on Saturday.

The Eagles (0-3) will equal their worst ever start to a season if they lose to the Magpies at Marvel Stadium.

A defeat would also extend West Coast’s current losing streak to eight matches – the equal worst in club history.

West Coast were dealt a series of fresh blows this week when Andrew Gaff (ankle), Sam Petrevski-Seton (calf), and Jack Petruccelle (protocols) were all ruled out.

Skipper Luke Shuey recently exited isolation but will be rested this week to give him enough time to recuperate, while Tim Kelly, Elliot Yeo, Dom Sheed, Oscar Allen, and Jamie Cripps are still out injured.

West Coast enters the match as massive underdogs but Simpson isn’t waving the white flag for this game, and he’s not willing to give up on finals either.

“We’re going over to win, if that’s the question” Simpson said on Friday.

“We haven’t taken our eye off the ball on that. We’re not giving up at all.

“We see it as an opportunity to grow. We’re having a go.

“I think we’re in a space where – it’s not denial – we understand what’s going on. A lot of it we can’t control.

“The cluster of injuries we got in the pre-season, a lot of them were collision injuries that we can’t avoid and then COVID hits us.

“So that’s reality. But it’s a moment in time. We still think there’s plenty of games left in the season for us to be a part of some wins and part of the action.”

West Coast have been boosted the return of Willie Rioli, Tom Barrass, and Liam Duggan from the health and safety protocols.

Collingwood lost Jordan De Goey to suspension and vice-captain Taylor Adams to the protocols.

Callum Brown and Tom Wilson come into the side.

Collingwood started their season with wins against St Kilda and Adelaide before falling to Geelong by 13 points last week.

Simpson has been impressed by what he’s seen from the Magpies under new coach Craig McRae.

“They’re definitely playing a new system,” Simpson said.

“If you had to compare it to anyone … it looks similar to a Richmond sort of brand over the last few years. It’s high octane, chaotic, pressure front half-type football that embraces the contest.

“They’ve been really exciting to watch. It’s clicked pretty quickly for them.”

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