West Coast stars Josh Kennedy and Jeremy McGovern won’t be fooled into complacency heading into Friday night’s semi-final clash against Geelong at the MCG.
The Cats have been widely criticised in the wake of last week’s 10-point qualifying final loss to Collingwood, with many predicting the minor premiers will exit the AFL finals in straight sets.
West Coast were impressive in their 55-point demolition of Essendon last Thursday.
But the Eagles were on the end of their own barrage of criticism two weeks earlier when they lost to Hawthorn in the final round – a result that cost them a prized top-four berth.
Kennedy said Geelong deserved to be respected given they compiled the best record during the home-and-away season, and he’s expecting a tough battle.
“They didn’t finish on top for no reason. They’ve got a quality midfield, they’ve got quality players,” Kennedy told 6PR.
“That first quarter cost them a little bit (against Collingwood), but it was game on the whole time, and they only lost by 10 points, and I don’t think Collingwood scored in the last 40 or 50 minutes of the game.
“We know that they can play, it wasn’t a walk in the park for Collingwood, we know that for sure.
“We know it’s going to be game on and they’re a terrific side and it’s going to be a massive challenge for us to get over to the ‘G and play Geelong.”
McGovern said the Eagles knew from first-hand experience about how wrong the outside criticism can be.
“They (Geelong) had one bad game last week, (but) they finished top of the ladder for a reason and they’re a good side,” McGovern told Mix 94.5.
“We were in the same boat a couple of weeks ago when we played the Hawks.
“Everyone was writing us off completely and now we’ve beaten the Bombers on the weekend and all of a sudden we’re back.
“But not much has really changed, aside from a bad performance.”