Shaun Burgoyne of the Hawks in action.
Shaun Burgoyne of the Hawks in action. JULIAN SMITH

Bulldogs bound to attract the most support

AFL: Hawthorn star Shaun Burgoyne accepts neutrals will be barracking for the Western Bulldogs in Friday's semi-final at the MCG.

The Hawks will start as favourites for the cut-throat clash after winning the flag for the past three seasons.

They have also not lost consecutive games since early in the 2014 season but Burgoyne said they were likely to only get support from their own fans.

"They're (Bulldogs) pretty much everyone's second-favourite team, because of where they've come from the last couple of years,” he said.

"If you remember the game we played against them early on in the year (a three-point win in round three), it took us until the last minute to win the game and that's what we're going to expect this week, another tight game.

"We've seen the footy they've played this year - with injuries to their key players as well - they've still come out and played really well and their pressure on the opposition is first class.”

Burgoyne also warned teammates to erase last week's finals defeat to Geelong from their minds.

Isaac Smith missed a chance to win the game with a kick after the siren, but Burgoyne said everyone must move on.

"We've done things the hard way the last few years, we've had a lot of obstacles thrown at us and shown that we're a pretty resilient group, and at times you need to draw on that,” Burgoyne said.

"Especially when you come off a loss you think about what you've had to overcome in the last couple of years, and this group has played better footy when we've had to overcome those hard obstacles.

"That might be touched on this week, I don't know, but we just need to stay in the here and now and prepare for another physical game because we don't want to get caught dwelling on the weekend or in the past.”

The Hawks will play GWS at Spotless Stadium in the preliminary final if they can beat the Bulldogs.



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