Senior Coach Stuart Dew says the SUNS can’t afford to start on the back foot and repeat a performance like last weekend’s QClash as the team prepares to take on Geelong this weekend at GMHBA Stadium.
Dew said the team has been off the boil in two games this year, against “clear top four teams” in the Western Bulldogs for one half and Brisbane last weekend.
They have the same challenge this week against third-placed Geelong and Dew said it was crucial the team responded with just two rounds to go until the mid-season bye.
“We've just got to make sure we rebound this week,” Dew said.
“Our long-term vision for us at the moment is getting to the bye and getting to the bye in good shape and maintaining standards that we think by and large have been there for most of the year.
“(Geelong are) clearly a quality football side but we can't shy away from the fact that when we play on our terms, which we've done a number of times this year at home and away, that we can really challenge for the win. We want to see some behaviours that reflect that from the start.”
Geelong have proved to possess one of the most potent forward lines in the competition this year with a three-headed monster including the last two Coleman medallists Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron as well as speedster Gary Rohan.
Dew said it was important the team cranked the pressure up the field to restrict Geelong’s ball movement and make it harder for the tall forwards to have a profound impact on the match.
“Clearly they’ve got some firepower there and we’re going to have his work it out for us, but I also think that with Zac (Smith) coming back in that should support our stoppages a fair bit,” Dew said.
“Essentially if we don't get pressure on the ball as we saw, it doesn't matter who you’ve got playing on those players, they're going to find the ball with ease.
“So we're going to make sure that we put some heat on the ball and then when we go forward, play the game in our half better than what we have.
“When we play well this year we've been able to hold in in there and when we haven't it's come out very quickly - and this ground is a dangerous one for that.”
The match against Geelong gets underway at 2:10pm on Saturday.