Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has conceded his team is too "easy" to play against and had been out-hunted after the Demons fell to a fourth defeat, further jeopardising their finals hopes.
The pressure has intensified on the club after a 40-point loss to St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday, leaving them with only the one win and facing a four-day turnaround before the Anzac Eve clash against Richmond.
They had been expected to challenge for the premiership this year after last season's run to the preliminary final but hopes of being alive this September are in considerable doubt.
That the Demons won the inside-50 count 55-47 but could manage only seven goals, four until three quarter-time, highlighted how wasteful they had been.
Goodwin said the Demons had much work to do in a bid to regain their groove.
"We are easy to play against. We are still getting some supply but we are getting beaten in transition way too easy, we are not connecting with the ball forward of centre," he said.
"It has been four weeks. I thought we were a bit better last week [against Sydney] but we are just easy to play against.
"We are breaking down in a few too many areas and that means we are easy to play against and the scoreboard pressure builds. We had opportunities in that first half to really put some scoreboard pressure on but we were unable to do it. In the end, I thought the Saints' hunger and work rate was well above ours. That is the disappointing thing for us."
Key forward Tom McDonald had another poor performance, and was even shifted to the wing in the final term to help him find the ball.
Clayton Oliver, tagged in parts by Jack Steele, had 31 disposals but only three clearances. Co-captain Nathan Jones, used in a tagging role, was shifted away from Jack Billings in the third term. The emerging Saint, with 28 disposals, was arguably best on ground.
Angus Brayshaw found plenty of the ball and was Melbourne's best midfielder.
"They [opposition teams] are going from one end of the ground to the other way too easily. That's one of our bigger challenges. We also need to connect with the ball," Goodwin said.
"We had lots of opportunities but our fundamentals forward of centre let us down. I thought out method from the back half was pretty good but we just got let down with our inside-50 kicks. Too often they didn't hit or we got beaten. We didn't mark the ball."
The Demons are set to make changes for the clash against the Tigers, with Billy Stretch and Jeff Garlett among consideration.
"One [win] and four [losses] is not pretty but it's a long way to go still. We just have to keep working hard to find our best footy. We have to fix up some areas that are now trends in our game," Goodwin said.
The Saints were too often left alone in the midfield, and prospered through their run and carry. For a club that was expected to finish this season near the foot of the ladder, they were on top as of Saturday night, and with four wins are a legitimate finals contender.Read More – Source