Watts credits team for strong AFL form

Melbourne forward Jack Watts is crediting the team’s growing momentum for his strong start to the AFL season.

Always a lightning rod for criticism when things go wrong with the Demons, the 2008 No.1 draft pick has impressed amid their 2-2 opening.

“I don’t think it’s really `clicked’ or anything like that,” he said of his own form.

“I’m probably doing all pretty similar things to what I’ve done in the past, but with a team (that) is starting to play a pretty good brand of footy.

“We’re averaging a lot more inside 50s, we’re getting more opportunities, so playing as a forward, law of averages would say you’re going to have a bit of an impact.”

Seven years after the Collingwood defence bullied him in his AFL debut, Watts kicked four goals last Sunday as Melbourne sent the Magpies lurching further into crisis.

It is also a far cry from the end of last season, when Watts was dropped.

Watts admits that omission was “a bit of a kick in the guts” and that it served as some motivation through the off-season.

“(But) once you get back into it, it’s long-gone,” he added.

Watts becomes eligible for free agency at the end of this season and he is sticking to his plan of leaving negotiations with the club for the time being.

But Watts strongly hinted on Wednesday that staying is the more appealing option.

“Have a good year, play a consistent year – that would be the main thing for me,” he said.

“But as you can see, it’s a pretty enjoyable place to be and the future’s looking pretty bright.”

The one blot on Melbourne’s opening month this season was the upset round-two loss to Essendon.

Even that came with a positive for Watts and his teammates.

“We went away from the way we play,” he said.

“That was a bit of a difference – reviewing that game, we were able to just recognise exactly what we did wrong.

“It was pretty clear to everyone, which was a good change.

“We weren’t wondering how it went wrong.”

He said attitude and intensity would be crucial for Melbourne when they start favourites on Sunday night in the Anzac eve clash against Richmond.

Like Collingwood, the Tigers are 1-3 and out of form.

By contrast, the Demons are bullish about what might be possible this season.

“We feel like every week, we have the game plan that stacks up,” he said.

“It’s just about bringing the attitude and intensity – it’s an enjoyable place to be.”

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