West Coast coach Adam Simpson has defended his decision to play Luke Shuey, Tim Kelly and Elliot Yeo as the Eagles were thumped at home against the Sydney Swans.
The Eagles are aiming to make finals in 2022 but that looks a tall order at this stage following the 63-point drubbing at Optus Stadium on Friday night.
Shuey and Kelly both returned to the side following lay-offs, while Yeo was playing just his fourth game since returning from a long injury lay-off.
The trio struggled and Simpson was quizzed about his decision to play all three when he addressed the media after the game.
The Eagles boss admitted he had no choice.
"It's no excuse. You can't point the finger at those three," Simpson said after the game.
"I think we've got to take the whole 22 plus the coaches on this one. We'll own it together, we've got their backs, we know they're good players, we know we're better than what we produced tonight."
When pushed further Simpson said playing in the WAFL is no use right now and they need to get back to playing in the AFL. And he is asking for some patience.
"We don’t really have a choice. They're three of our best players. We need to get them going,” he added. They need to get that match fitness at AFL level. We need to get the best of them. We're working on that.
"They’re very good players. But the synergy is not there obviously.”