Macrae heeds McCartney's advice

Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney started Jack Macrae as the substitute last week with a very pointed - and public - message for the young star to lift his game. Against the Suns he responded in outstanding style, with 43 possessions and two goals.

''His strengths came out in buckets tonight,'' McCartney said. ''Which we knew he had - that's why he was drafted at pick six - but what we do with all our players, in particular our developing players, is hopefully imprint them with a way that is the right way to play.

''And the right way to play is attack when you can, defend when you need to, and be strong over the ball. We've never had any concerns with the player Jack will become. We coach all our young boys firmly, but also with encouragement.

''He's a very strong, determined young man, and resilient young people, which is what you need in this industry, generally have a way of dealing with good times and tough times.''

McCartney said captain Ryan Griffen, a late withdrawal with a virus, ''wasn't physically well enough to deal mentally with the game. It was the right decision in the end; we'll get him back next week.''

Suns coach Guy McKenna denied his team was spent after last week's heroics against Collingwood, when it finished the match with no one on the bench.

''I don't think we had any spark from the first bounce,'' he said. ''We just couldn't get out of the blocks.

''Last week was last week, but I think we did enough to make sure the boys were ready [this week].''

The Bulldogs beat the Suns for the ball both inside and out, but McKenna said that result wasn't just down to the loss of captain Gary Ablett.

''We've been beaten inside before with Gary playing or not playing; it wasn't as though no one stood up.''

This story Macrae heeds McCartney's advice first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.