AFL's Saints have feet on the ground - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL's Saints have feet on the ground

By Robert Grant 27/06/2009 01:53:31 PM Comments (0)

Unbeaten St Kilda have no chance of falling into the trap of complacency, according to coach Ross Lyon.

Nor will they be derailed by focusing more on their unbeaten streak than on the match against Richmond at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

This is despite the fact the Saints sit atop the ladder with 12 straight wins and boast a dominant 10-match consecutive win ratio over the Tigers.

Lyon said he and the team had a realistic approach to their season to date and he had not had to work hard to keep the players targeting the right areas.

"That's really easy," Lyon said. "That's been our strength. We've spoken about the St Kilda bubble and what it means to be in it.

"The more people talk about other issues, all it is is a stronger focus for us on what's important.

"They're just real triggers and reminders. Our focus is on ourselves and improving our football," he said.

Helping the process is the fact St Kilda have managed to stay ahead of the pack despite playing some shaky football.

"We certainly haven't been at the top of our game but we've been winning and there are strong areas we come in on Monday and talk about ... we did this well, but we were a bit down there and there," Lyon said.

"I think it's evident that we've had an ability to stay in the present and focus on what we need to and it's stood us in really good stead.

"We don't talk about wins and losses, we talk about our effort not being dictated by the scoreboard or our win and loss ratio.

St Kilda will go into the game freshened by the mid-year break, which had come at a crucial time, Lyon said.

"We've had a couple of vibrant training sessions and they've come back revitalised in a sense.

"It's a luxury to have and we're appreciative of it.

"We've had a really strong preparation on the track and it's given us plenty of time to prepare for Richmond, who have obviously got a new coach and renewed enthusiasm and hope."

That new coach, Jade Rawlings, who has a caretaker role after the departure of Terry Wallace, seems to have injected new spirit into the Tigers, judging by their last-start win over West Coast.

Lyon admitted there could be a twist to the Tigers strategy on Sunday under Rawlings.

"I think there's some elements of that," he said.

"I think there's only so much scope for change in a short period but their contested balls have been really good and they've scored quite well.

"Jade has publicly said there's a strong focus on some defensive mechanisms to improve and we saw a bit of that against West Coast and that's something we're going to have to deal with."

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