Demons' youth no excuse, says Bailey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons' youth no excuse, says Bailey

30/03/2010 06:37:16 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey says youth is no excuse for the Demons' lack of opening-round intensity, with players of all ages urgently needing to lift their game.

Bailey acknowledged that apart from the opening few minutes against Hawthorn on Saturday, the defensive efforts were mostly well below the level needed to be competitive.

And while the club's recent influx of youth meant they needed time to improve, substandard performances would not be accepted.

"Our club and the players that we've drafted and the players that have been on the list for three, four or five years, they're going to be under the microscope as much as anyone," Bailey said on Tuesday.

"So there is urgency to play well, there is urgency to train well and we didn't show it on the weekend.

"But this week we get another opportunity to rectify the things we didn't do well last Saturday, we've got to put them into action."

The Hawks kicked 14 of the first 15 goals at the MCG on Saturday, building an 80-point lead during the third quarter, eventually narrowed to 56 at the final siren.

The Demons face a challenge every bit as tough against in-form Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday and Bailey is demanding that they at least increase their pressure on the opposition.

"If you're a Melbourne supporter, Melbourne member, you expect the team to go out there and be a lot more competitive than we showed," he said.

"Being able to compete, the things you're looking for are tackles that actually stick for the whole game, not just in short periods.

"The chasing and tackling has got to be there from everyone."

He said it mainly came down to attitude.

"They are the basic things you've got to do well every week, every minute of the game," he said.

"As soon as you drop off, you drop off five or 10 per cent or even more than that ... you're allowing them just to free run and get the uncontested footy and go inside 50 and score, just like we saw."

The Demons could be boosted by the return of forward Colin Sylvia, who has been sidelined by a broken jaw, but the coach said he would have to prove himself at training later in the week.

"He's very keen to play, he was very keen to play round one but medically he wasn't prepared," Bailey said.

"We'll see how he trains, if he gets through training tomorrow and Friday then I'm very sure Col will be a name that will look good and will be a good player for us to play on the weekend, because he's had a very good pre-season."

Brad Green will play his 200th game against the Magpies and Bailey was hoping that would inspire more commitment from his teammates.

"Brad's a very courageous player and we need to show that the physical part of the game, the tackling, the chasing, is going to be a real key ingredient for us," he said.

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