For a side with only three wins, Mansfield has been more competitive than what the ladder shows.
But the inconsistent Eagles have been unable to notch up wins, despite matching its opposition for periods during the game.
Tomorrow Mansfield travels to take on Tatura and Cameron Hotton wants his players to spur each other on.
‘‘We tend to have some really good patches and then take our foot off the pedal and have some lapses that allow them (opposition) to kick easy goals and we can’t play footy for all four quarters,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s more on-field chat and just to get the guys to continually motivate themselves, they aren’t the best talking team.
‘‘A handful of guys are continually talking across the field, but we want to get everyone talking and switched on and doing the things we need to do and not be caught ball watching.’’
Mansfield allowed former AFL player Bret Thornton’s clearance back to West Gippsland club Dalyston.
Having played just one game for the Eagles, Hotton said it was unlikely the former Carton swingman would take the field again this season as he struggles with groin problems.
James Herridge will miss with foot fractures, while defender Earl Ree-Goodings will attend his brother’s wedding.
VFL player Nick Gray has caused headaches for opposition teams in his five games this season, named Mansfield’s best the past three weeks.
Hotton will be hoping he does the same damage to the Bulldogs, whose injury woes only continue to compound.
Playing coach Jamason Daniels said he was to be sidelined for six weeks after tearing his quadricep in the third quarter against Rochester last week, while Sean Martin remains a fortnight away from returning from an ankle injury.
Chris Ryan will play for Victoria Country tomorrow, but Daniels said lively forward Rian McGough and defender Tim Lanyon would return.
Daniels said the mindset remained positive, despite having not enjoyed a victory since round two against Mooroopna.
‘‘We have got a few things right from our end and are doing the basics well and coming in with the right attitude,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll be realistic with how many quality players we’ve had out all year and with no consistency with constant changes.
‘‘Every week there are three or four or five blokes out and the consistency has has really hurt, especially with the quality, but unfortunately that’s footy.’’