Richmond star Jack Riewoldt welcomes their underdog status for Friday night’s must-win AFL clash with Hawthorn and is adamant their form will turn.
The Tigers will take a five-game losing streak into the MCG match and captain Trent Cotchin is out with a fractured cheekbone.
Kane Lambert also will not play because of fractured ribs and star defender Alex Rance is serving the second week of his two-game suspension.
“We certainly think we can win this week,” Riewoldt told AFL360.
“Everyone thinks Hawthorn is going to win … that’s the way we like it.”
Riewoldt added that the Tigers still had great faith in their leaders around the club.
A major issue is confidence, with Riewoldt saying hard work is the solution.
“It’s a bit of a chicken and the egg theory about confidence – does it come from winning games and then guys feel more at home and more confident?
“Or is it you turning the page and making the confidence come?
“Personally, I think it comes from hard work and I can hand-on-heart say here that the boys are putting the hard work in behind the scenes.
“The weight of numbers will turn … we give ourselves every chance (against Hawthorn).”
Earlier on Tuesday, teammate Shaun Grigg said they were ignoring the fierce outside scrutiny that another poor start to a season had attracted.
“We respect the people within our four walls who are giving us advice … we can’t listen to all the external pressures or comments,” Grigg told reporters on Tuesday.
“We just listen to our coaches and teammates and go about rectifying it.
“In here, we believe that our best footy is good enough, which we’ve shown over the past couple of years. We’ve just got to get back to how we were playing and, hopefully, it will come out on game day.”
It is also a big game for Hawthorn, who are out of sorts and coming off a 75-point mauling from GWS.
Richmond have won three of the past four clashes between these two sides.
But Riewoldt noted the teams were much different to their most-recent clash last year, which the Tigers won.