After another disappointing AFL fadeout, Melbourne coach Paul Roos has flagged further delistings for underperforming Demons at season’s end.
Against Port Adelaide in Alice Springs, Melbourne looked set to end a four-season wait for back-to-back wins after kicking six of the first eight goals.
Then they fell apart.
The Power slammed on 16 of the next 18 goals to claim an easy victory.
Still rankled by the performance two days later, Roos told Fox Footy on Monday night he was using the most brutal of motivational techniques to try to lift his players’ efforts.
Perform – or find somewhere else to play.
“What you try to convey to players is ‘if you continue to improve and continue to get better, then we get better as a team, you stay on the list’,” he said.
“If you don’t, it’s pretty simple. Football’s pretty ruthless.”
After years in the AFL’s bottom half, Roos says he believes there are some players that cannot shake the mental demons of their past.
“I don’t think the team is mentally weak,” he said.
“But clearly there are players that aren’t able to get over the past.
“I don’t like to talk about it … but it’s obvious.”
The most frustrating thing to Roos is the gulf between Melbourne’s highs and lows.
“You see what this team is capable of and that’s six goals to two in the first 45 minutes,” he said.
“We know what’s wrong.
“We’re yet to convince the player group of some of the things we know that work.”
At least up front there is hope, with forward Jesse Hogan handed the AFL’s rising star nomination for round nine despite their Northern Territory nightmare.
The 20-year-old forward kicked two goals, took eight marks and had 16 touches on Saturday and has yet to go a match goalless in his young career.