COACH Chris Scott has labelled Geelong being two wins clear on top of the ladder heading into the second half of the AFL season as “temporary relief.”
The Cats have defied many experts predictions of a move down the ladder to post ten wins from 11 starts.
“It’s really important given our tough draw at the start of the season,” Scott said.
“We certainly didn’t anticipate – as much as we need to forecast a little bit, this wasn’t in our forecast, being in this position.
“So, that’s a bit of a relief. But that’s all it is … it’s temporary relief.”
Despite the buffer, Scott isn’t getting cosy, with Richmond at the MCG on Friday night the next challenge for the Hoops.
“We play what I consider to be the best team of the last three years on the weekend, and then trying to forecast what the tough games are going to be in the run home is difficult as well,” he said.
“I could point to the form line for a lot of teams over the last six weeks and mount a pretty compelling case that it’s made fools of us all, in terms of our forecasting.
“It will help us with a bit of flexibility around the things we want to do, but it also has the potential that it might bring in a bit of complacency.
“If we slip for a little bit, that gap can be snuffed out in a couple of weeks.”
Scott says knowing their situation can change quickly keeps the Cats “on edge”.
“And, in part, that’s because we feel we’re still evolving pretty quickly,” he said. “We still play nine or ten players under 50 games, and a majority of them under 20 games.
“The team we are in eight or ten weeks time will be very different to the one we are now, even if we don’t change personnel.
“So, we’re far from sitting back thinking, ‘we’ve just got to keep rolling along, and everything will be fine’.”
Scott says he and his coaching staff will continue to highlight areas in which Geelong can make improvements.
“There’s a sense in our group, rather than complacency, that there’s so much that we need to work on, and the ladder position doesn’t really reflect our position within in the competition,” he said.
“And it’s pretty easy to go back over the last three weeks against teams that are outside of the eight and highlight what a struggle – it was four weeks, really – parts of those games have been.
“We were two points up at three-quarter time against the Gold Coast.
“It would be just so naive for our players and our coaches to be thinking we’re so much better than the next best team; there’s just so much evidence to the contrary.”