JUST like he hasn’t got carried away with big wins this season, Bendigo Gold coach Hayden Skipworth hasn’t spent the week dwelling on his side’s flogging from the Northern Blues last Saturday.
After losing to the Blues by 100 points last Saturday, the Gold returns to the Queen Elizabeth Oval tonight to take on Geelong in round five of the VFL.
“It was a disappointing result last week, but we haven’t tried to get carried away this season whether we’ve won big or lost by a big margin,” Skipworth said yesterday.
“Our focus each week is to take the learning points out of each game and focus on the next match, and that’s what we’ve done this week going into the Geelong game.
“Unfortunately, this is the second short week we’ve had in a row, so we’ve spent a lot of the week recovering.
“We didn’t over-analyse the game last week, we’ve tried to move on quickly and put all our time and energy into Geelong this Friday night.”
Last week’s Bendigo team included only four Essendon-listed players, but the squad was last night boosted by the inclusion of Bombers’ players Henry Slattery, Mark Baguley, Travis Coyler, Luke Davis, Ariel Steinberg and Elliot Kavanagh.
“We’ll get a few Essendon guys back, so that will make us a little bit stronger,” Skipworth said.
“Our backline will be strengthened with guys like Slattery and Baguley coming back, and just having a few more experienced heads will obviously help.”
The Gold enters tonight’s game with a 2-2 record, while the Cats are 3-1 and coming off their first loss of the season after going down to Werribee by 37 points last Friday night.
“It certainly doesn’t get any easier after coming off a 100-point loss,” Skipworth said.
“If we want to make the finals, then these are the games we really need to win to give ourselves a chance of making finals.
“Geelong gave us a touch-up in a practice match (by 38 points on March 3), so it will be really good if we can get a win and keep that win-loss ledger in the positive.”
Geelong is coached by former Bendigo Bombers and Essendon coach Matthew Knights, while the Cats’ skipper is ex-Bendigo Pioneer and Brisbane Lions’ player Troy Selwood.
Skipworth says he is looking forward to going head-to-head in the coaches box with Knights, who he played under at both Essendon and Bendigo.
“I’ve had a good relationship with Matty Knights. I lived with him for five or six weeks when I first moved to Melbourne a few years ago, so it will be good to coach against him this week and hopefully, get the four points,” Skipworth said.
The Cats side includes Geelong AFL premiership players David Wojcinski and Shannon Byrnes.
Tonight’s game starts at 6.30pm.