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West Coast Eagles list, Adam Simpson press conference, out of contract players, Liam Duggan, David King, Fox Footy First Crack

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North Melbourne premiership player David King believes Adam Simpson must make cutthroat decisions on some of the side’s underperforming players after efforts on the weekend.

The Eagles were competitive but ultimately lost to Richmond at Optus Stadium on Sunday by 38 points.

Shai Bolton was one of the Tigers’ stars, kicking two goals and having chances for several more to go with his 23 disposals.

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Tigers too good for improved Eagles side | 02:03

Of key concern for King was the ease with which Bolton was able to create space from his direct matchup, which at stages of Sunday’s match was Liam Duggan.

“Just have a look at this – Liam Duggan, he’s played a lot of footy. This is a very good hitout here (from Richmond), he (Bolton) hits the outside and then he’s gone,” King said on Fox Footy’s First Crack.

“Within one step, Bolton, who’s been probably the most damaging player in the competition since round eight or nine, is in there straight away.

“I think it’s really poor from West Coast and some of their key playmakers.”

Duggan, who played in West Coast’s 2018 premiership, made a number of errors throughout the match that cost his side, with King walking through them on First Crack.

It was part of a general trend, he said, that saw the Tigers’ midfield outwork the Eagles, which played a large part in the outcome of the match.

“I just wonder what the message is to some of these key playmakers,” King said.

“There’s an old theory; If you’re 27-plus and you’re not in the top six-to-eight players at your club then you’re biding time and you might as well go past them.

“I think Adam Simpson’s got some really tough decisions to make.”

Most troubling for King was the fact Bolton’s ability to hit the scoreboard and set up other scores was a known quantity coming into the match.

That Simpson’s players failed to prevent it, he said, was a warning sign.

“They would’ve planned for him, they would’ve known what was coming at them. They either can’t deliver upon it or they choose not to,” he said.

“You’ve got to go past players like that. I’m sorry, but Simmo knows the stakes at the moment.

“You cannot reward those guys with selection if they cannot adhere to what you’ve set up in the week of planning.”

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