Geelong coach Chris Scott refused to be downbeat following a three-point loss to Fremantle and believes his side’s best footy is not too far away.
The Cats will again attempt to win the premiership this season but there is work to do as they sit seventh on the ladder with four wins from their first seven games.
Scott had a feeling it was going to be a hard-fought season with reigning premiers Melbourne the team to beat, and so far it is proving to be the case.
The Demons sit top of the ladder and second-placed Fremantle are leading the chasing pack. But Scott expects his side to be in the mix all season.
"No I don't think it is (out of reach) and I think we've shown patches where we've looked almost as good as the best teams," Scott told reporters after the game.
"Melbourne are the best team but there's a big pack chasing them. My sense is, and it's hard to forecast, but it was my sense pre-season, as well, that it's just going to be a struggle throughout the year.
"So the challenge is to not throw in the towel and let bad days snowball into consecutive bad days but also not get too high on your toes when you do have some good patches.”
The Cats had to do without Patrick Dangerfield against the Dockers as he battles back from a calf injury. But Scott says he should return in round eight.
"Our overriding philosophy is to get guys in and play them when they're ready to perform really well and that was just not Pat today," Scott added. "But the indications are that he'll play next week."