Demons mindful of over-doing emotion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons mindful of over-doing emotion

By Adam Cooper 03/07/2009 06:07:39 PM Comments (0)

Jim Stynes' fight provides Melbourne their inspiration, but Demons coach Dean Bailey has warned too much emotion could be dangerous against West Coast in Saturday's AFL game at the MCG.

Bailey is mindful of his players being emotionally drained against the Eagles after Stynes, the club's president and former playing great, revealed on Thursday he was battling cancer.

So as he tries to find the balance between inspiring his players and over-burdening them, Bailey thought it best Melbourne call on the hallmarks Stynes displayed during his 264-game playing career in pursuit of a second win.

"The emotion is going to be there, we've got to make sure our focus and direction is on winning the contested ball and winning the game," Bailey said on Friday.

"We don't want to over-state it but we don't want to under-state it because Jimmy's been such a revelation for the club.

"He's brought trust and integrity beyond what we would think and we do need to rally around him and support him - there's no doubt about that - and the way the players can do it is to really perform well.

"The discussion I've had with Jim before has been `How'd they go? Were they competitive? Are they working hard?'

"(They were) all the things he did very well, so I'm sure that he'll expect them to do that.

"But all Melbourne supporters and members would expect the team now to have a real crack on Saturday for all the emotions, but also for the reasons of winning."

Bailey said Stynes' mental toughness gave the 43-year-old a good chance of beating the disease.

He also felt that Stynes' fight meant Melbourne had no excuses not to perform well, after their past three defeats had let unravel all the encouragement they showed in rounds seven to nine.

But to do that, the Demons had to improve at winning contested possessions and then using the ball well, where at least the returns of skipper James McDonald, Paul Wheatley and Matthew Bate from injury would help.

"The success will come from how hard we work and we need to keep that as a clear focus, no doubt," Bailey said.

A Melbourne win would follow victory in the corresponding clash last year, when the Demons kept the Eagles to one goal after half-time and won by 34 points.

West Coast's defeat that day was part of a losing streak on the road that has now stretched to an embarrassing 17 defeats.

The Eagles have not won away from Subiaco since round 21, 2007.

Meanwhile, Bailey said No.1 draft pick Jack Watts would have played on Saturday had he not been ill during the week, despite quiet showings in his first three games.

Demons fans will instead get a glimpse at West Coast's Nic Naitanui, who was taken at No.2 in last year's draft and looks a star in the making.

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