Demons coach blasts player discipline

Melbourne’s caretaker coach Neil Craig has savaged the lack of player discipline at the AFL club and warned their vacant coaching job isn’t for the faint-hearted.


Craig says the Demons are stuck in a loser’s rut after Adelaide crushed them by 68 points on Saturday, winning 18.12 (120) to 7.10 (52).

Melbourne were within 23 points of Adelaide four minutes into the final term at AAMI Stadium, but then managed just one solitary point as the Crows booted the last seven goals of the game.

Alarming ill-discipline blighted Melbourne’s performance, evidenced by defender Tom McDonald when outmarked by Adelaide’s six-goal forward Lewis Johnston in the third term.

McDonald inexplicably knocked the ball from Johnston’s hands and was penalised 50 metres, but didn’t even bother to stand the mark as the Crow strolled past him to the goal-line and scored.

“It probably says something is going through their psyche at the moment – the frustration of enormous effort for little return,” said Craig, who is uncertain if he wants to be Melbourne’s coach next season.

“From a coaching perspective, you’re going to need an enormous amount of patience and it certainly won’t be for the faint-hearted. There is a lot of work to do.

“We’re a long way off being a hard-nosed footy club to generate a win. We are a long was away as a total footy club … we have lost for so long that we need to break that habit.

“Whoever is coaching the side will need to make use of absolutely every bit of time that is available for this squad because you can’t waste a minute when you’re where we’re at.”

Melbourne gave away 14 more free kicks than the Crows, who successfully marked their final game at AAMI Stadium ahead of their move to a redeveloped Adelaide Oval next season.

Adelaide’s triumph was built by two scoring sprees: they kicked six unanswered goals in the second quarter and seven majors without reply to the end of the match.

Johnston booted four of his goals in a festive final quarter as the 34,653-strong crowd spent the last 10 minutes performing Mexican waves.

“I would have taken a one-point win to send off a stadium full of fantastic memories for our footy club,” Crows coach Brenton Sanderson said.

“We really built it up internally, that it was a really important game for our club and our fans.”

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