Luke Beveridge has slammed Bailey Smith’s critics as ‘disrespectful’, revealing the Western Bulldogs star’s illness.

Western Bulldogs teacher Luke Beveridge has also fired back at “disrespectful” comments about the midsection Bailey Smith

Beveridge jumped to the defense of his 22-year-old star after he had just 11 tackles in last week’s loss to Collingwood.

“After the game he got sick,” Beveridge said on Tuesday.

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“To think whether he should be at another club or not is disrespectful.”

Beveridge’s support came with Smith’s role in Thursday night’s clash against the Sydney Swans still undisclosed due to his illness.

The Bulldogs coach was also adamant that the team was giving enough support to their players, especially after the video of Smith running in Marvel Stadium after their 14th straight win against North Melbourne.

Smith collected an impressive 19 tackles in the win, with an additional game involving the AFL great. Matthew Lloydwho said The midfielder needed to be “rescued”.

But the Bulldogs coach says his relationship with Smith is at its peak.

“We have a great history here with our players and our program … at times, it can be painful,” Beveridge said.

“All we’ve done here is take care of Bailey, and yesterday he and I and our communication was in a very good place.

“We hope that it’s either this year or next year that he finds the best way, and we have to help him.”

The pressure surrounding Smith’s form comes after a recent fall, but Beveridge praised the young star for coming to terms with his struggles away from football, which Smith has spoken about in the past.

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“He’s faced real challenges, he’s had injuries, he’s had time out, he’s become comfortable with his thoughts,” Beveridge said.

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“We all see the potential of a young man who should be the strongest player in the competition.”

The Bulldogs face the 15th-placed Swans on Thursday night at the SCG in a must-win game to retain their finals chances.

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