Flag belief growing at the Cattery

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AFL: Luke Beveridge and Chris Scott react to their meeting in round 13 of the AFL

The Cats went into the game with a focus on tackling.

GEELONG’S coach Chris Scott says he rates his side as a chance to win the flag, but he insists mid-season form isn’t what counts.

Geelong’s 57-point win over top-four rivals the Western Bulldogs last night at Etihad Stadium was the club’s 10th victory in 13 games, lifting the Cats into top spot ahead of North Melbourne on percentage.

After upset losses to Collingwood and Carlton, the Cats have beaten top-eight sides Greater Western Sydney, North Melbourne and the Bulldogs in the past three rounds.

“We lost a couple of games that the footy world was telling us we couldn’t lose a month or so ago,” Scott said on Saturday night.

“So we understand more acutely than anyone the competition is tight.

“I understand the commentary will be around where exactly we’re at and what’s possible.

“We’re optimistic about what’s possible. We’re not trying to undersell ourselves.

“The last three weeks have shown our best footy is pretty good.

“It’s really irrelevant how you’re going now. We’ll work really hard to make sure we’re playing our best footy towards the end of the year.

“As things stand at the moment, I’d give us a chance.”

Scott denied the Cats had “got ahead of ourselves”.

Steven Motlop celebrates a goal against the Bulldogs. Picture: Wayne Ludbey

Steven Motlop celebrates a goal against the Bulldogs. Picture: Wayne LudbeySource:News Corp Australia

“But we did lose two games and play poorly,” he said. “So we’ve just got to … make sure that we improve every week.

“We’re giving ourselves a chance.

“If we had lost tonight, we could have slipped to sixth.

“So that speaks to how close the competition is.

“I guess I’ve been circumspect because I don’t really know.”

Scott added he thought the Bulldogs would “rate their chances” of beating Geelong in Round 19 when the teams clash again, because the competition is so close.

The Cats won the tackle count 78-59 and Scott said he had placed a big emphasis on defensive pressure.

“A fair bit, mainly because we knew they were so good around the ball,” Scott said.

The Cats went into the game with a focus on tackling.

The Cats went into the game with a focus on tackling.Source:AAP

“They still won the ground-ball battle quite clearly (winning contested possessions 137 to 125).

“But the most important thing is that if they were doing that, they couldn’t get to the outside with any effectiveness.

“Effective tackles as opposed to just cuddles was important.”

Scott was also pleased with his side’s accuracy in front of goal, kicking 16.4 (100).

“It’s a huge improvement on where we’ve been,” Scott said.

“We still missed some shots we should have taken.”

Scott said onballer Josh Caddy had suffered medial-ligament damage to his knee.

“It’s impossible to tell (how serious the injury is) right at the moment,” Scott said.

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