Melbourne skipper Nathan Jones says his AFL side won’t be haunted by the past when they seek to break a long losing streak against Fremantle in Darwin.
The Demons have lost their past seven games against the Dockers but Jones says there’s no point dwelling on what’s already happened.
“The team has really changed over the past four years,” he told reporters on Friday.
Jones said the Demons would focus coach Paul Roos’ message for Saturday night: play better for longer.
“It’s one thing we have experienced in our losses against the more experienced sides in the competition,” he said.
“We have put in some pretty good performances, one of the most recent is Adelaide last week – we played for 100 minutes out of 120 minutes but in that 20 minutes Adelaide really scored against us.
“We haven’t been able to play at the level for the entire game and find ourselves trying to chase back the points against in those periods where we have sort of dropped away from our best footy, so that will be a focus for us.”
Former co-captain Jack Grimes will play his first AFL game of the year against the Dockers in what Jones describes as an inspiration for his teammates.
“It’s a terrific story of persistence,” he said.
“It has been tough for him but at no stage has he dropped his head or looked to blame anyone else … (he’s) worked really hard on the areas we have wanted him to improve in.”
Although Fremantle is enduring a woeful year in which they’ve had just three victories, Jones says the Demons – who are in 10th spot with six wins and eight losses – are taking nothing for granted.
“We really respect them as a team and we expect their absolute best tomorrow night and that is all we can prepare for,” he said.