Russells Creek coach Peter Timms wants to his side to find the rhythm it had before the coronaivrus pandemic-enforced break.
But he knows it will be hard.
The sixth-placed Creekers had a resounding 72-point victory against fellow finals contender, Allansford, before giving top-ranked Nirranda a good shake for three quarters in round 13.
Creek hosts Dennington on Saturday in the Warrnambool and District league.
The coach was impressed with his side's composure against the Blues.
"We want to get to where we were against Nirranda," he said.
He felt Creek was on at least on par with the Blues in contested ball.
Timms said his troops had no issues getting the ball forward and lauded the Blues' solid defence.
With Caleb Templeton, Jayden Millet and Jesse Cruickshank unavailable, Russells Creek is promoting under 18 players Xavier Short and Harrison Kilpatrick.
Timms said Short played on a wing while Kilpatrick can play forward and back.
The coach said experienced players Sam Wilson (leg) and Xavier McCartney (knee) were probably still a week away from returning from injury.
Russells Creek is sitting one game behind fifth-ranked South Rovers and has three games to try and claim fifth spot.
Creekers have big challenges ahead with battles against finals-bound teams, Merrivale and Panmure, in the final two rounds.
Creek missed out on playing two sides below them - Timboon Demons and Old Collegians - on the previous two weekends.
Timms said his side was in the tough position because it didn't beat a side above it in the first half of the year.
"Now we've got to really dig deep and bring our best the next three weeks to have a chance of playing finals," he said.
The coach wants a consistent four-quarter effort against Dennington.
"We just want to really enjoy it and have a bit of fun as well as realise we're still a finals chance so we need to put a good score on the board," he said.
"We know Dennington are going to come hard and give us everything they've got, they've got nothing to lose."
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