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Western Bulldogs aim to plug leaking defence

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The Bulldogs have won only two games this season.

The Bulldogs have won only two games this season.

The third-worst defensive team in the AFL hosts the team that has kicked 41 goals in the past two weeks.

That's the crux of the challenge facing the Western Bulldogs when they play Adelaide on Sunday at Etihad Stadium.

After losing their first three games, the Crows have put their season back on track with a scoring avalanche against St Kilda and Greater Western Sydney.

Tom Campbell during the Bulldogs' big loss against the Crows.

Tom Campbell during the Bulldogs' big loss against the Crows. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

The Bulldogs also had the third-highest number of points kicked against them last season.

"Defence is a strong focus for us so, to this stage of the season, we haven't quite got that right," says Bulldogs forward Tom Campbell.

"For a couple of weeks, we've gone away from our brand and, to be a good team, we have to find that consistently.

"Defence is going to be really important for us this week."

Even though Campbell's No.1 job as a tall forward is to take big marks and kick goals, team defence has become one of the keys to AFL success.

Campbell's lack of competitiveness cost him a spell in the VFL and the Bulldogs have recalled him for the Adelaide match.

"The way we're taught to play is to be really strong and fierce in the contest and I probably didn't bring that in round one," he said.

"I've had a clear picture in my mind of what I've had to do to get back into the team."

Campbell, who has played 14 senior games, kicked four goals against the Crows during his strong finish to last season.

He returns to a side that has had a week of soul-searching, following last weekend's 28-point loss to Carlton.

"Some weeks have a bit more pepper in them than others," said coach Brendan McCartney.

Campbell said the players were left in no doubt about what was expected of them.

"The review was pretty strong and guys were certainly told pretty clearly what they had to do to help this side play good football," he said.

Tory Dickson also returns for the Bulldogs, who dropped Mitch Wallis and Tom Williams.

Veteran defender Dale Morris did not recover in time from the leg injury he suffered a fortnight ago.

The Crows recalled Mitch Grigg after Richard Douglas was suspended.

AAP

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