GEELONG coach Chris Scott says he feels his team is improving and is ready to play its best footy at the end of the season.
The Cats escaped with a two-point victory over the shell-shocked Hawks last night with Tom Hawkins kicking his sixth goal after the siren to save the match.
Hawkins kicked the final two goals of the match and has made his name as a big time performer after starring in last year’s grand final against Collingwood, albeit his accuracy has improved this time around.
“We feel that we are improving, and it stands to reason that some of our performance would be a little inconsistent with the number of really inexperienced players (in our team),” Scott said.
“As it is, we had a good result, we feel a little bit better about ourselves, but we play West Coast in Perth next week, so our feet will be back on the ground quite quickly.”
”We’re not so arrogant to suggest this is all part of a master plan, but we’ve suggested for most of the season, I think, that we think we can get better, and we planned to play our best footy at the end of the season,” he said.
”It doesn’t always work that way, but I think we’re playing a lot better now than we were five, six weeks ago.
”In the last five minutes … it’s not fair to say it just comes down to guts, because there’s the execution of the plans under pressure that we’ve talked about, and I think it was fitting tonight that it was Tom who kicked the winning goal because he’s symbolic of our transition. He was kicking well all night, so we were pretty confident [he would kick the goal].”
Scott also praised midfielder Paul Chapman, who has been central character in the the plot to kill off any challenge from the Hawks since the 2008 grand final loss.
“He finished some really good work (from the midfield), but his desperation in the forward line was really impressive and led the way to a certain extent,” he said.
“We don’t see our older players fading away from a physical perspective, and there’s definitely no way that they’re showing any signs of giving up mentally.”
In further good news for the Cats, Nathan Vardy will make his return from a hip injury in the VFL today.