St Kilda are determined to show they’re a better side than what they displayed in last week’s AFL round-four loss to Adelaide.
That’s not our level. We’re better than that.
St Kilda AFL coach Alan Richardson has refused to concede his side have found their level following last week’s 86-point loss to Adelaide.
The Saints had started the 2014 season with wins over last year’s two bottom sides Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney, before losing in Perth to West Coast by 25 points.
But the thumping from the Crows hit the Saints hard.
Will they slide lower than their 16th-placed finish of 2013?
For a first-year coach who preaches defensive work-rate, it was not good viewing.
“Certainly our review (after last Sunday’s match at Etihad Stadium) was a reflection of what we said straight after the game publicly,” Richardson told afl.com.au on Thursday.
Richardson said the Saints looked flat.
“We were disappointed with our effort,” he said.
“The way the players had input into that meeting, the way they reflected their own performance has continued to follow that path that we were disappointed.
“There’s been some talk that that’s perhaps where the Saints are at.
“No, that was clearly our worst performance in terms of applying the right amount of pressure and effort.
“So we were really disappointed with last week and we look forward to the opportunity to do something about it against the Bombers.”
St Kilda and Essendon have 2-2 records after four rounds.
However Essendon’s percentage of 119.7 compared to the Saints’ 75.7 is an indication of how the two teams are progressing.
Essendon’s only losses in 2014 have been to last year’s grand finalists Hawthorn and Fremantle.
While the Bombers are expected to field a stronger lineup than the one that played last Sunday against Fremantle, the Saints will be without onballer David Armitage because of a cut knee.
“Dave’s been really good for us. He’s a real combative, warrior type,” Richardson said.
“He’s one of our leaders, so we’d rather have him out there, but it will be a good opportunity for another young player.”
Two-time club champion Sam Fisher will resume from a hamstring injury in the VFL and is a chance to return to senior ranks in round six in Wellington against Brisbane.