Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.

Why Beveridge has become AFL’s most ‘nervous’ coach

LUKE Beveridge would be the most nervous coach in the AFL because there's "no trust" among his Western Bulldogs players, says Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall.

After beating Essendon and showing fight during a narrow loss to Sydney, the Bulldogs took a major step backwards against Fremantle last weekend to sit 16th on the ladder with a 1-4 record.

It comes after a disappointing premiership defence campaign in 2017, which saw the Dogs finish outside the top eight with an 11-11 record.

Despite working closely with his playing group for years, Dunstall said Beveridge would have little idea as to what his Bulldogs are going to dish up each week due to their unpredictable nature.

"I reckon he would be as nervous as any coach when he watches the team prepare for the first bounce," Dunstall told Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"It was only a couple of years ago when they played with so much flair, initiative and genuine dare when they took the game on.

"But he doesn't know what he's going to get now. He honestly doesn't."

Dunstall saw the Bulldogs' 54-point loss to the Dockers at Optus Stadium first-hand, with Beveridge's brigade managing just four goals in the first three quarters.

The legendary goalkicker said the Bulldogs looked like they were "devoid of confidence".

"When I watched them over in Perth last week, they look like players that don't trust the bloke next to them is going to get his job done," Dunstall said.

"They're all just worried about their own little cocoon, their own little area.

"There's no trust in that team."

The Bulldogs have an excellent opportunity to register a victory on Friday night against bottom-placed Carlton, which is yet to taste victory in 2018 but showed its ability to suffocate opponents defensively during last week's 10-point loss to West Coast.

Coincidentally, Beveridge said he wasn't sure what to expect from the Blues at Etihad Stadium.

"I think the way that they set up against West Coast was actually different to what they'd done previously in that they dropped a number back and tried to use that as an outlet when they won the footy back," Beveridge said.

"We're not sure what we'll get. We're not sure whether they'll want to drop someone back or if they'll want to take someone up to the stoppage ... we'll plan for both."