Marcus Bontempelli admits there is some mystique surrounding the Western Bulldogs as they embark on the second half of the 2019 season.
After 11 games, the Dogs find themselves sitting 15th on the ladder with just four wins and seven losses against their name.
Luke Beveridge’s side has mixed its form quite significantly so far with their best and worst miles apart, but taking the knowledge that they can produce brilliant football provides plenty of optimism.
“The essence is, although there are things we haven’t done perfectly so far throughout the season, the opportunity for growth and ability to win more games and really make something of the season can start now,” he told Sam McClure on SEN’s Time On.
“We look at it as a bit of a clean slate and say, ‘well these are the things we did well, these are the things we know we need to be better at’, and you embrace that possibility of ‘what if?’ and ‘who knows?’
“That’s the thing that everyone takes a bit of energy from is the mystique and magic of who knows what we could do or what could happen.
“You ride that wave a little bit when you get to a position like we’re in where we haven’t won as many games as we would have liked to.
“The other thing is you look at the things we’ve done well and the teams we’ve played well against, they tend to be some of the better teams, so we’ve got to try and embrace that as well.
“Hopefully we can nail down some of those things we need to work on and it can have a good impact for us.”
The Bulldogs will look to kickstart their assault on the back half of the campaign at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night but what stands in their way is Carlton and Patrick Cripps.
Cripps dominated in the Blues’ win over Brisbane last weekend and Bontempelli knows all too well that he must be quelled in order for the Dogs to claim a fifth win.
“It’s an impressive feat that his footy has been able to achieve,” he added.
“Especially off the back what he would consider a couple of quiet weeks. Those games are even more impressive when your form and influence has been limited in the previous weeks, and your back’s against the wall.
“Particularly in an emotional situation like they’ve been, it was impressive to see him do what he did. It’s obvious he’s a beacon for his teammates, but as good a story as it is, we’ve got to play them this week and we want to win just as much as they do.
“That aside, we’ll hopefully be able to limit his influence as much as possible.”