Back to basics for Bendigo Gold

HOW do you respond to a 166-point thumping?

If you’re the Bendigo Gold you get physical.

Three days after copping a humiliating 28-goal hiding from Footscray, Gold coach Aussie Jones put his players through a searching training session on Monday night.

 “We're having a very solid week on the track with a lot of physicality,’’ Jones said.

AGGRESSIVE: Bendigo Gold forward Tyrone Downie tackles team-mate Trent Donnan in a training drill at the QEO. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

AGGRESSIVE: Bendigo Gold forward Tyrone Downie tackles team-mate Trent Donnan in a training drill at the QEO. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

“It’s not so much punishment, it’s more about making sure we get the conditioning in to ensure we’re ready for the contest.”

The Gold had shown great signs in home games against Geelong and Essendon this year, but the 33.16 (214) to 7.6 (48) loss to the Bulldogs stunned Jones.

 “To be so competitive against Essendon and Geelong, but to be uncompetitive from the first bounce to the last against Footscray was very disappointing,’’ Jones said.

 “Footscray had a stronger side than we expected and their AFL-listed players were up and about.

“They came out with enormous intent and, as disappointing as we were, you have to give Footscray a lot of credit.

“They are as slick a unit as I’ve coached against in my time in the VFL.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Gold.

This Saturday they travel to Melbourne to play the unbeaten Port Melbourne.

“Port plays a lot more contested style of footy,’’ Jones said.

“We’re trying to play a contested brand of footy, but we’re struggling to get the balance right between contested ball and the outside run.”

Jones said he’s likely to make at least three changes to the side which lost to Footscray.

“It’s not a case of wielding the axe,’’ Jones said.

“We get Jesse Wallin back from suspension, who is one of our best defenders.

“Mitch Hough and Jack Sketcher are available and they’re both in our best 22 players.”

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