Roos won’t play blame game over loss

Paul Roos has rejected suggestions he unfairly shifted blame onto his players in the aftermath of Melbourne’s Queen’s Birthday loss to Collingwood.

Adam Oxley was outstanding for the Magpies playing as a loose man in defence, with the Demons coach later lamenting that his players had failed to follow instructions to close the damaging defender down.

Roos said that he was simply being honest when asked why Oxley had been allowed so much freedom.

“We spoke about it at halftime and we couldn’t get it done as a group – whether I wasn’t clear enough with the players,” Roos said on Wednesday.

“We’ve addressed it today.”

Roos said that responsibility for every facet of a team’s performance ultimately fell on the senior coach and he made no apologies for his straightforward approach.

“It’s one of those ones where you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if don’t,” he said.

“I could sit up here and bullshit the whole time but that doesn’t get you anywhere.

“I can tell the truth, so I try and tell the truth.

“Ultimately the coach is responsible – that’s why the coach gets sacked. It’s a pretty simple business that we’re in.

“The coach eventually stays or goes based on performance.”

Roos was still able to see the lighter side of the situation on Wednesday when he was asked what sort of feedback he’d received from his players in their review of the loss.

“They blamed me and I’ll take full responsibility for that,” he said with a wry smile.

The coach felt that his side’s poor ball use had been a much bigger factor in the result than Oxley’s play in the back half.

“For us to be a good long-term team we have to be more consistent around the contest and use the ball better,” he said.

“Having said that, we needed to do a better job as a team to address (Oxley) and we weren’t able to do that.”

The Demons take on St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, having failed to beat the Saints in the past 10 encounters between the sides at a venue where they haven’t managed a win in their past 20 visits.

Melbourne last took the premiership points away from Etihad Stadium back in round 19 of the 2007 season, against the Western Bulldogs, but Roos said that record counted for nothing this weekend.

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