Crows coach bullish about Geelong trip

Steve LarkinAAP
Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks is not listening to outside noise, believing his team can beat Geelong.
Camera IconAdelaide coach Matthew Nicks is not listening to outside noise, believing his team can beat Geelong. Credit: AAP

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks knows it sounds almost absurd.

His Crows travel to Geelong, where they haven't won since 2003, without their two leading goalkickers and on a four-game losing streak.

Most AFL pundits rate Adelaide's task against perennial powerhouse Geelong on Saturday as mission impossible.

Not Nicks.

"I know people will look at it and say 'hang on, you're coming off four losses'," Nicks told reporters on Friday.

"Our momentum, we believe, is heading in the right direction.

"Our last two games we have had our opportuties, we haven't got the result in the end and that has been real disappointing and frustrating.

"But we got down with a lot of confidence with where our game is at at the moment ... our group will go down and have a real crack at it.

"I guess they're due if they have done that many (losses) in a row. You have got to look at it that way, right?"

Nicks has lost ex-captain Taylor Walker (COVID-19 protocols) and impressive rookie Josh Rachele (corked thigh) - the pair top Adelaide's goalkicking this year - for a clash against a Geelong team renowned as one of the toughest defences to crack in the competition.

"Where we are going to kick our goals from will be the question that comes," he said.

"We will look at a few things this week where we will think we will hit the scoreboard.

"We will stick to our DNA, we will stick with our game plan, but the personnel will obviously be a little bit different to what we have had.

"There's no hiding from we will go in a little bit smaller than what we have been in the past.

"Our challenge will be to compete and perform and Geelong are such an experienced backline."

Walker and Rachele are among four changes for the Crows, with ruckman Kieran Strachan and Chayce Jones dropped, replaced by Jordon Butts, Matt Crouch, Reilly O'Brien and Wayne Milera.

The Cats will be without Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield because of a calf injury for a clash at a venue Nicks said had less width than most AFL venues.

"It just means it's going to be a fight ... there is nowhere to avoid a contest on that ground," he said.

"It will be a battle and that is the way we like to play footy and Geelong do as well and that is why they are so respected."

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