After being caught cold by their opponents for the second time in three games, Gold Coast forward Sam Day says the Suns must stop their slow starts.

Gold Coast forward Sam Day admits the Suns’ slow starts are causing concern.

The Suns’ AFL finals hopes took a massive hit on the weekend following a 39-point loss to Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

The loss bore troubling similarities to the Suns’ heavy defeat to rivals Brisbane a fortnight prior, with a poor start all but ending the contest at half-time.

The Blues had kicked a whopping 11.6 to Gold Coast’s 4.3 by the main break, a gap the Suns were never able to close.

Day said there was no obvious cause for the recent flat starts, especially as the club’s early season form was built on getting on top early.

“Unfortunately Carlton came out a lot harder than we did,” Day said.

“We seemed to rectify the problems in the second half but the damage had already been done.

“We’ve just got to work out why. Earlier in the year we were starting games strongly and we were pretty much putting games away in the first and second quarter. We’ve got to work out how we can get back to doing that.”

The Suns host Port Adelaide on Saturday with a 10th defeat of the year all but certain to end the expansion club’s hopes of September footy.

While the Power are also struggling for form in recent weeks after a barnstorming start to the year, Day said any repeat of last weekend’s display will prove disastrous against Ken Hinkley’s men.

“Port have been one of the better teams all year … they’ve had a bit of a lull the second part of the season but we definitely don’t want to play them into form,” he said.

“We have to make sure we come out firing on Saturday. I’m sure we’ll be training for that during the week.”

The Suns will assess the fitness of Trent McKenzie (concussion), Michael Rischitelli (hip) and Steven May (hamstring) throughout the week with Seb Tape showing he’s ready to step up after a best on ground display for the Suns’ reserves.