Richmond coach Damien Hardwick admits the team’s system is broken, but he’s confident he can fix it in time to help propel them towards finals football.
The Tigers’ top-eight hopes are already on thin ice after their 68-point loss to West Coast on Friday night left them with a 1-3 record.
Richmond were comprehensively outplayed in perfect conditions at Domain Stadium, with West Coast winning the inside-50m count 60-27, as well as registering 35 scoring shots to 12.
Hardwick cut a deflated figure after the match, conceding his team were well beaten at the contest and left “scrambling for something we just couldn’t find”.
The seventh-year coach came under fire last week for suggesting his team may need to take half a step back in order to go two steps forward.
On the evidence of their performance against West Coast, Richmond have gone backwards more than just half a step.
But Hardwick is adamant the situation can be turned around this season, although he concedes he’ll need to go back to the drawing board to address the problem areas.
“We’ve got to mend the process. Obviously it’s broken at the moment,” Hardwick said.
“We’ll take stock, look at some things that we’re doing, tinker a few things, and try and get a better result.
“We’ll modify a few things, and go back to the drawing board on a couple of others.
“The game changes, we’ve got to change.
“We tried to go with the change, (but) it didn’t work out, so we’ll look at a few things to see how it works out from here on end.”
When asked whether he was still confident his team could play finals, Hardwick replied: “Very much so.
“It seems so far way at the moment. But we’ve been in this situation before. I’m pretty confident our players and our coaching group will bounce back.
“We can’t afford to dwell too much.”
Ruckman Shaun Hampson lasted less than a half against West Coast before being forced off with a heavily corked leg.
And defender David Astbury appears set for a stint on the sidelines after suffering a painful ankle injury.
Ruckman Ivan Maric and Brett Deledio are a chance to return for next week’s clash with Melbourne at the MCG.