Roos out to win for Crocker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roos out to win for Crocker

By Sam Lienert 18/07/2009 09:11:14 AM Comments (0)

North Melbourne star Drew Petrie says the AFL club's players are desperate to post a win for caretaker coach Darren Crocker and would be happy to see him keep the top job.

Since Crocker took over from Dean Laidley, the Kangaroos have suffered narrow defeats to the Western Bulldogs, Sydney at the SCG and Hawthorn in Launceston.

All three matches have been in the balance until the dying stages, with the Hawks last-round overcoming a 14-point three-quarter time deficit in difficult conditions.

Despite the frustration of those close losses, Petrie said the team had been heartened by their performances and impressed by Crocker's coaching.

"Darren's mentioned to us that he knows we deserve to have won a couple of those games," Petrie said ahead of Sunday's MCG clash with Richmond.

"But now it's getting to the point where as the players we think he's deserving to win a game now, because of all the effort and the positive nature and attitude he's put into us since he's taken over.

"So we definitely owe him for the support he's given us in the last three weeks and hopefully that starts on the weekend."

While the `Roos' hierarchy is intent on trying to lure former Collingwood great Nathan Buckley, Petrie believes the players would be happy if Crocker stayed on in the job.

"Crock's been sensational, and I'm not just saying that because I'm playing for him, he really has," Petrie said.

"You've seen the way we've played, we've been great for three quarters and could have easily won the last three games but didn't.

"From Crock's point of view, he's definitely putting his hand up to coach us next year, so I think this weekend, the game against Richmond, we'll show how far we've come along under his tutelage."

Petrie said the players would back "whoever the club sees as the best man for the job" and acknowledged former Magpies captain Buckley clearly had a great knowledge of football.

But while Buckley has never served as an AFL assistant, Petrie noted Crocker could call on almost 10 years' experience in that role, five with Richmond, while he is in his fifth with the `Roos.

"You'd think an assistant who's been in the game that long would have a good grasp on the game as well," he said.

"Going by what he's done so far in the last three weeks, the boys are fully behind him and he's got their support, which is what you need.

"I think you need a good relationship between coach and players and we'd be more than happy to have Crock as coach next year."

Petrie said the `Roos' inability to close out games in the past three rounds was due to wavering in defensive accountability and winning the hard ball late in matches.

He said the fact that they had not posted a win since round nine was possibly creating pressure in tight finishes.

"Maybe because we know we've been in a position to win games we've just stumbled a little bit and are sort of forgetting how to win," he said.

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