Blues ‘gutted’ but will be ready for Magpies’ showdown: Voss


“We have one game to really hone in on, so we don’t need to talk about what the result of the outcome is – it’s effectively an elimination final, really. We know what the week holds,” Voss said.

“It’s really exciting for us … it’s about exposure for us, playing these sorts of games. It can only be a good thing for us, how we grow and develop as a footy team.”

The Western Bulldogs, in ninth spot, have to defeat Hawthorn next Sunday, and boost their percentage, if they are to oust the Blues from the top eight in an intriguing climax to the home-and-away season. St Kilda’s hopes appear shot because of their poor percentage.

Voss said there had been “real positives” in shifting half-back Sam Docherty and Will Setterfield into a midfield missing three frontline operators. He said Adam Cerra, a late withdrawal on Saturday with an abductor issue, could return next weekend but George Hewett (back) was unlikely to ramp up his training before the finals.

The win leaves the Demons in second spot and well-placed to secure the double chance.

Charlie Curnow’s late goal had put the Blues in pole position for victory with three minutes remaining.Credit:AFL Photos

Coach Simon Goodwin said the Demons would draw on this win, their 15th, and coming after a stinging loss to Collingwood, in their quest for back-to-back flags.

“To win a close game of footy, we haven’t done that all year, really. To win a real close game, and to show enormous character as a group, I think this is the type of win that this group can embody and can continue to move forward,” he said.

“I think they are important because you can draw on those experiences as you go forward. We have needed one of these experiences, to be on the better end of. It was a great game of footy and either team could have won. But, in the end, this is the type of grit, character, that you need to show. We will grab hold of this, we learn from it.”

Angus Brayshaw, now enjoying life as a midfielder, had a game-high 38 disposals, including a dozen clearances, while medium-sized forward Jake Melksham continued to thrive at full-forward, booting four goals on a night Ben Brown and Bayley Fritsch managed a combined two goals.

The Demons head to Brisbane for a Friday-night blockbuster against fellow top-four side the Lions, with a home final there to be won.

“The stakes are high, we know how strong they are up there,” Goodwin said.

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