Geelong veteran Jimmy Bartel has conceded that his side relies too much on Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood.
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The superstar duo are enjoying arguably career-best years, with Dangerfield a red hot $2.40 Brownlow Medal favourite at UBet and Selwood on the fourth line of betting ($11) for the coveted individual award.

However, their dominance has come at a price with many of their fellow Geelong midfielders down on output.

It’s a situation which has contributed to them sitting in sixth spot on the ladder after 16 rounds with three of their five losses coming in stunning fashion against bottom-10 sides Carlton, Collingwood and St Kilda.

“It’s pretty easy to say that, because they’re actually having absolutely brilliant years – I think a lot of people would have them in All-Australian sides and (with) ‘Danger’ some people are saying, ‘hand him the Brownlow now’,” Bartel told SEN on Thursday.

“We’ve got a number of players who’d like to be playing a bit better but there are other guys who are playing pretty good footy as well.”

Tom Hawkins is one such Cat who is struggling for form with just 33 goals from 14 games, but Bartel believes the Geelong midfield have to shoulder a fair portion of the blame for the key forward’s lacklustre season.

“It’s probably us midfielders and half-forwards kicking the ball into him. Our delivery has been pretty poor,” Bartel said.

“On the weekend against the Swans, we probably didn’t handle the pressure as well as we should have around the ball. We just hacked it forward to him and he was often outnumbered two-to-one, we dumped it on top of his head.

“As a big forward you just want the ball not only brought in quick but to advantage so you can at least have a chance to work off your opponent.

“If you’re just kicking it high on top of his head and two blokes are jumping on him, it makes life pretty hard.”

Fairfax Media revealed earlier this week that a dispute had occurred recently between Cats Mitch Clark and Mitch Duncan after Clark sledged senior-listed Hawthorn player Teia Miles during a VFL match against the Box Hill Hawks.

Clark allegedly disparaged Miles’ sister, who is Duncan’s long-term partner. But Bartel insisted hardly any of his teammates knew about the incident and that it had no impact on the locker room.

“Whatever the issue was, those two fellas dealt with it and moved on,” Bartel said.

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