No place is safe on Demons squad: Bailey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No place is safe on Demons squad: Bailey

By Crystal Ja 29/05/2009 07:49:25 PM Comments (0)

Demons coach Dean Bailey says no-one is safe ahead of a do-or-die AFL clash with the Saints, with veteran Russell Robertson an early casualty.

With Melbourne sitting on the bottom of the ladder, Bailey warned lacklustre players would enjoy a stint in the reserves should they not stand up during the club's time of need.

The warning comes as the Dees brace for the biggest test so far this season on Saturday night when they take on ladder leaders St Kilda at the Gold Coast Stadium.

Melbourne are rank outsiders to record just their second win of the season.

They will head into the game without Robertson, who was dumped from the squad earlier in the week due to a lack of effort.

"It's about being able to maintain the standard of what we expect of players on the ground, not just on the Russell, but from all players," Bailey said.

"I expect all our players to meet standards, keep work rate up - effort is going to be really important for where we're at.

"We want to continue our competitive nature ... and it's imperative that we do it against the best teams."

Bailey said he expected Robertson to earn his place in the senior side in time for next weekend, along with Gold Coaster Ricky Petterd, who was also dropped.

In the meantime, Bailey argued Melbourne were a definite chance against the flying Saints, who remain unbeaten this season.

The Demons have lost their last five games in a row, but have been a touch unlucky - getting within two goals in two of them.

With St Kilda neutralising their home ground advantage to play on the Gold Coast, Bailey said Saturday's game would be won by the team hardest at the football.

"When you play against a very good team, the things that count are your work rate and contested footy is going to be important," he said.

"St Kilda are ... probably one of the best teams around stoppages the last couple of weeks, so if it's a bit slippery and wet, I'm sure the stoppages will tell the story tomorrow night."

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon agreed work rate was the key.

"Any stage you can drop off and we're no different," he said.

"We aim for consistency ... and we aim to do it for 100 minutes."

The Saints and Demons are scheduled to play on a soggy surface after heavy rainfall on the Gold Coast on Friday afternoon.

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