Coach’s blunt admission after shock loss

Demons coach Simon Goodwin insisted his side was “far from the finished product” after producing an “un-Melbourne” performance in its stunning upset loss to Collingwood at the SCG on Monday.

The Dees headed into the clash with a full head of steam having just registered back-to-back wins against fellow flag threats Western Bulldogs and Brisbane, but the ladder leaders were brought undone by sloppy skills and substandard pressure against the bottom-three Magpies.

And with Melbourne enjoying its mid-season bye next round, Goodwin said the break came at a good time for his side.

“We certainly didn’t play the way that we’d like to play and that’s full credit to Collingwood, I thought they were outstanding. They played a great game and they were better than us in a lot of areas, especially the areas that we really value,” Goodwin said post-match.

“We had more (forward-50) supply but we were really poor executing forward of centre which gave them great looks with the ball in hand, so they certainly played the game and set the game up better than what we did.

“They had 125 uncontested marks and they had 12 intercept marks in our forward 50 so once they get an intercept mark, that starts their chain of possession and our inability to defend that at times made it look like an ‘un-Mebourne’ game and our pressure factor would suffer on the back of that.

“We need to acknowledge where we sit, we’ve had a brilliant first half of the season, we’re 13 rounds in, we’re 11-2 and we sit in a pretty healthy position.

“We need to use this bye in the right way to refresh mentally (and) physically and we need to make sure we find a way to improve in the back half of the year … whether that be through personnel and method, we know we’re going to be challenged in a lot of areas.

“We learned today that our ability to use the ball effectively is an area we need to get better at.”

Collingwood send Nathan Buckley out a winner. Photo by Phil HillyardSource:Supplied

Goodwin was unsure if the emotion surrounding Nathan Buckley’s last game as Collingwood coach gave the Magpies an extra boost, but was adamant his team thoroughly prepared for whatever the Pies were going to throw at them.

“They were certainly tougher and harder in the scrimmages than what we were,” he said.

“But we want to play in those games – we want to play in games where there are emotions, where it is a big stage and we had to perform under that and today we didn’t.”

In some better news for the Demons, former captain Jack Viney could line up against Essendon in round 15 as he continues to make strong progress in his recovery from a toe injury while the likes of Nathan Jones, Jake Melksham, Aaron vandenBerg and Neville Jetta are all pushing hard for senior recalls.

Meanwhile, Goodwin paid tribute to Melbourne club legend Neale Daniher whose inspirational ‘Fight MND’ fundraiser raised in excess of $2 million on Monday.

“It’s an incredible response and I think for Neale he’s just done such a wonderful job, he’s a wonderful ambassador for the Melbourne footy club but what he’s been able to do in this space has been incredible and he’s an inspiration to all,” he said.

“We’re very privileged to be involved in it.”

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