Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson is surprised his AFL club’s stinker of a season still holds a slight whiff of the finals.
Essendon’s demotion keeps alive Adelaide in what has been “a disappointing season in a lot of regards” for the Crows, Sanderson says.
Adelaide will pinch eighth spot if they beat West Coast in Perth, and Port Adelaide beat Carlton, by combined margins of 61 points or greater – and Brisbane lose in Geelong, and Collingwood defeat North Melbourne.
“We need a lot of things to go right for us,” Sanderson told reporters on Wednesday.
“West Coast away is a tough ask but we’ll certainly be going over there to put in a really good performance and hopefully get the win and hopefully other results go our way.
“Ninth is the new eighth and we’re obviously excited about that.”
Sanderson saw irony in Adelaide’s finals fate resting largely with bitter rivals Port Adelaide.
“We’re obviously hoping that Port win well this week. It’s not every often that the Crows coaching staff say that,” he said.
The Crows would keenly watch the score from Port’s match, due to finish just as Adelaide take the field in Perth.
“We will keep one eye on that but our focus should be to go over to West Coast and win – and win well,” he said.
“It shouldn’t change whether you go more more attacking or you try and lock them down.
“It’s nice to feel that it’s round 23, the final round of the season, and a good win can potentially put us in September. So that does breed a bit of excitement around the place.”
Sanderson expected key backman Daniel Talia to overcome a bruised lower back and play against the Eagles alongside Victorian-born Sam Kerridge, who has signed a new contract to remain at the Crows for another two seasons.