Bevo lashes players behind closed doors

Bulldogs players walk off Etihad Stadium after their loss. Picture: Getty Images
Bulldogs players walk off Etihad Stadium after their loss. Picture: Getty Images

LUKE Beveridge has given his players a fearful spray after his side "fell apart structurally" in a heartbreaking last-gasp loss to North Melbourne.

Billy Gowers' third goal with less than three minutes left put the Bulldogs up by four points at Etihhad Stadium, but Beveridge was incensed over how Jack Ziebell was able to kick the match-winner with 20 seconds on the clock.

The coach forced his players to re-watch the last two minutes behind close doors, lashing them with a verbal barrage that could be heard through the walls in the Dogs' changerooms.

Asked about the tongue-lashing in his post-match press conference, Beveridge said the media shouldn't have been allowed into the room.

"Well, you blokes shouldn't be in there, really, when the coach is talking to the players if you can hear me through the walls, but that's OK," Beveridge said.

Asked how he decides what message he gives and if he considered filtering it because of the inexperience exposed by injuries, Beveridge interrupted: "What, are you questioning me on how I went about that, are you?"

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge berated his players in the rooms after their loss to North Melbourne. Picture: AAP
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge berated his players in the rooms after their loss to North Melbourne. Picture: AAP

Mitch Wallis' decision to ignore a short pass to Mitch Honeychurch and go longer to Gowers inside the last minute backfired, with his kick going out on the full and North then going coast-to-coast from the ensuing back pocket free kick.

It was a nightmare end to a night in which the injury-hit Dogs had showed bravery and spirit, leading by 18 points at halftime and weathering a furious North Melbourne charge in the third quarter.

"It's rare that I confront them and raise my voice. I'm a rationale person," Beveridge said.

"There was a lot about tonight's game we liked, especially the way we moved the ball and gave ourselves opportunities. We had different combinations through our midfield … but ultimately I don't want our boys to walk away from tonight thinking 'Oh yeah, all that was good and we almost got there'. All that was good and we should have got there.

"We've walked away from that little discussion understanding that next time we're in that situation in the memory banks it's there and we'll get it right. You can't tip toe and tread lightly around that when it's such a significant stage of the game."

Beveridge said the finish to the game had "sucked the air out of us".

Jack Ziebell celebrates with matchwinner with Shaun Atley. Picture: Getty Images
Jack Ziebell celebrates with matchwinner with Shaun Atley. Picture: Getty Images

"It's frustrating. It's more than frustrating, it's extremely disappointing. We could say over time as we roll on we'll be able to sustain it for longer, but we can't give ourselves an out because we believe we should have won the game. But woulda, coulda, shoulda.

"The lack of urgency under fatigue was disappointing and obviously … hopefully the boys are in there stewing on it a little bit and making a promise to each other that it doesn't happen again if we're in that situation.

"You've just got to consider what was good and what's going help us the following week and that was the way we needed to process it tonight.


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