Chris Scott says his side is in the best shape it has been all year heading into this week's clash with Sydney. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
LOGIC suggests Geelong should slip down the ladder. That contention won't spark an argument from Cats coach Chris Scott.
However, Scott believes the reigning premier is steadily regaining its flag-winning form and said his side was in the best shape it has been all year heading into Friday night's clash with Sydney.
He said yesterday he was facing a selection dilemma, with key forward James Podsiadly and Allen Christensen returning to the side, not to mention dashing defender David Wojcinski set to back his efforts from a seven-point win over Carlton in round 11.
''We've got a genuine group of 27-28 players that we are going to have to fit into 22,'' Scott said.
''We have a few dilemmas. We have got wide open availability and some players that are coming into pretty good shape.''
But Scott conceded that might not be enough for the seventh-placed Cats to topple fourth-placed Sydney, which he said had radically changed its game in the past three years. Still he was heartened that his side was making small steps to playing at its best as September action nears.
''I have been seeing signs, I'm not sure anyone believes me necessarily. But we think we have been improving slowly, maybe not as quickly as the rest of the competition.
''As I said a number of times you can't be at 88 per cent capacity and expect to beat teams like Sydney in Sydney, so we need to improve quickly, but if we had a choice of playing our best football now or in round 20 or round 22, then we would prefer the latter.''
Asked why he didn't think people believed him when he said the Cats were improving, Scott gave a one word answer: logic. ''It's logical that we should slip down the ladder,'' he said. ''I don't think anyone at Geelong has argued with that contention. Logic suggests that that should happen at some point and if it wasn't last year it should be this year and if we could somehow find a way this year, it should be definitely next year.
''We can understand why people say that, we don't necessarily agree with that internally, but there's no point arguing with good logic.''
He said Sydney was a side on the rise, boasting speed and consistency.
''They are certainly playing differently to the way they were playing three or four years ago. The fundamentals of their game are pretty solid and have been consistent over a long period of time.
''With the personnel they have brought into the last couple of years they have got a bit of outside speed. They look like they are more willing to move the ball quickly and play a more open style of footy. It's certainly working for them at the moment.''
After playing Port Adelaide and Gold Coast in the following two rounds, the Cats' final eight matches include clashes with every other side in the top eight, including another meeting with the Swans.
But rather than hurting the defending premier's chances of making a late run up the ladder, Scott said he believes it could help.
''My preference is to play the good teams, see where we're at, hopefully get the four points ourselves and take four points away from the teams above us.
''We've always said that we're hopeful we'll play our best footy towards the end of the year.''