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Giants to learn from losing experience

Geelong West coach Andrew Clark speaks to his player at three-quarter time of last week’s loss to Bannockburn. (krockfootball,com.au/Al Packer)

FOUR consecutive losses may have put Geelong West’s season on a knife-edge, but coach Andrew Clark hopes the last month has been a vital learning experience for his charges.

The Giants have dropped from fifth to ninth since the interleague break, with their four defeats coming by a combined margin of 24 points.

“We seem to be going along OK, and then we just play a 10-15 minute bad patch of footy and sides put 4-5 goals on us, and then we play catch-up footy,” Clark said ahead of this afternoon’s clash with North Geelong.

“If we cut those little things out of our game, it’ll make it a lot easier in the long run.

“In saying that, we’re still learning, but we can only learn for so long, which we spoke about after Saturday.

“That excuse is no longer acceptable. We’ve now got to turn those close ones (losses) into wins.”

Clark is also no longer accepting of honourable losses like West’s 16-point defeat by unbeaten ladder leader Bannockburn last week.

The Giants found themselves level with the Tigers at three-quarter time, but couldn’t go the distance with last year’s runner-up.

“We spoke about it before the game that we don’t want to be a side now that people says “oh, geez, they got close, that was a really good effort”.

“That’s not what we’re about anymore; we’re about winning games and getting four points against the top sides and getting the respect of those sides now.”

Geelong West will be boosted by the return of Tyson Doherty and Michael Blain for this afternoon’s meeting with North Geelong at Keith Barclay Oval.

However, star midfielder Justin White is unavailable.

Clark is well aware of the importance of beating the Magpies, something they haven’t done in 12 meetings since 2009.

“Win this one and hopefully springboard into the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“After the last four weeks it would be nice to get a win on the board.

“We probably need to win this one to stay in contact with the rest of them.”

Twitter: @tom_king79