Beveridge admits heat is on, after nightmare start to season

The Bulldogs are heading winless into round 3.

A person posing for the camera
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge. Photo: supplied

After beginning the season with two losses, under-pressure Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has thrown his support behind Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.

Ugle-Hagan was racially vilified by a fan in his side’s defeat to St Kilda on Saturday night and didn’t attend Monday’s training session – a decision that was supported by the Bulldogs.

Beveridge described his star forward’s ability to deal with the racial slur as “unbelievably admirable.”

“He [Ugle-Hagan] doesn’t like to be the centre of attention and wanted a little bit of peace for the day,” he said.

“He was obviously down, as we all are, as we wrap our arms around him and support him.”

Beveridge says the former number one draft pick is “ready to go” against the Brisbane Lions on Thursday night.

“He’s very appreciative of all the support – there was never any indication he was going to let something like this get on top of him,” he said.

Speaking at Whitten Oval before the must-win game against the Lions, Beveridge admitted there was ‘heat’ on him as a coach after the Bulldogs’ slow start to the season.

“[The pressure] is reasonably intense – I welcome it, it’s part of my role, there’s no rebuttals,” he said, adding that he hasn’t lost faith in himself.

“Does it affect my belief in myself as a coach? Absolutely not.”

Thursday night’s game against the Lions will be the first time former Western Bulldog Josh Dunkley plays against his old side.

Beveridge won’t spend too long focusing on Dunkley, who’s the reigning best and fairest for the Dogs.

“He’s got some pretty influential teammates up there around him as well,” he said.