Melbourne defender Tom McDonald has lifted the lid on growing expectations at the AFL club, declaring the Demons’ season will be a failure without wins in the final rounds.
With six wins to date, the Dees have already passed their 2014 tally of four wins in Paul Roos’ first season as coach.
But it’s a reflection of Melbourne’s appetite to move up the ladder that key defender McDonald has taken his team to task for their season so far.
“Six wins is really disappointing,” he told AAP.
“I thought we might be ahead of that, there’s a lot of games we should have won and could have won and that will really annoy us when we look back through the year.
“Six wins is still a fail mark for me and my expectations for the year.
“It’s not really good enough but if we can win the last three games of the year, nine wins looks a little bit better.”
McDonald, who has enjoyed his best AFL season to date, said there were certainly signs of progression from the Demons.
The 22-year-old said there was “heaps of improvement in terms of how we play and getting the feel of the game”.
Against Carlton on Sunday, Melbourne will start warm favourites.
Roos returns Christian Salem to the team for the first time since round seven after hamstring injuries.
The Blues bring in attacking trio Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel and Jason Tutt, but have seen the last of forward Lachie Henderson.
Henderson was stood down by caretaker coach John Barker after the forward announced he would seek a trade at season’s end.
McDonald showed empathy for the key forward, saying it could be the best thing for the Blues from a “less than ideal” situation.
“Him being honest helps the club move on rather than springing it on the last minute,” he said.
“It’s better than him telling him the day before trade period, missing out on what they could get.”
While McDonald isn’t advocating Roos play youngsters for the remainder of the season, there is one name he’s tempted to suggest to his coach.
His brother Oscar, 18, is yet to debut since being drafted last year.
“Id love to see my little brother have a go,” he said.
“He’s been doing well in the VFL, improving a lot, playing his role but I don’t know if they see him playing this year or not.”