DENNINGTON is coming off a goalless match, has kicked just nine majors in its first three games and has recorded seven goalless quarters.
But new Dogs coach Mick Phillips knows his Warrnambool and District league side will improve.
The Dogs will regain forward power after the Easter break which Phillips hopes will improve their scoring woes.
Defender-turned-forward Luke Moutray (knee) and recruit Harry Grieve (suspension) are expected to run out against Merrivale after the Dogs' Easter break.
"We knew where we were at. We've recruited a lot of young players and we haven't had our two forwards for the first three games," he said.
"They will be back after the bye this week, so that will hopefully allow us to hit the scoreboard a bit more often."
Phillips, who will also have midfielder Ben Thornton who is the Dogs' "number one recruit and would be in our best two players", after the bye.
Dennington suffered a 223-point drubbing at the hands of flag fancy Kolora-Noorat in its season-opener, kicking just two goals.
The Dogs took a positive step forward in their next match, botting seven goals in a 66-point loss to South Rovers.
Reigning premier Nirranda restricted Dennington to two points on its way to a 149-point victory on Saturday.
"We have played the two likely grand finalists in the first rounds which hasn't helped," Phillips said.
"Their coaches have been fairly complimentary about the way the boys have attacked the footy and their intensity.
"As (Blues co-coach Shane) Threlfall said on the weekend, the scoreboard didn't do justice to how much footy we actually had.
"We're just falling down moving forward, that's the biggest thing, hopefully over the next few weeks when we have a bit of a softer draw and some forwards back we'll hit the scoreboard.
"With the Rovers game, we were a point down halfway through the third quarter."
Phillips said Dennington had a tough opening month and its round three game against the Power, which was moved to precede round one, came with selection problems.
"The first game, because that game got shifted, we knew we were in trouble there," he said.
"Between the two grades (seniors and reserves) there was 19 players away. We couldn't do anything about that but we went in underdone.
"There's 22 new faces between the two teams (this season).
"The club sort of needed that because we went through 10 or 12 years there with the same core."
Phillips, who took on the coaching role this season, said he remained upbeat and was enjoying the challenge.
He is bullish about the Dogs' chances of sneaking a win in the coming weeks.
"Merrivale is a bit of an outside shot for us but after that there is probably four or five games in a row where we should be able to have a decent crack at getting a result," he said.
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