Riewoldt loss turns Saints into battlers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riewoldt loss turns Saints into battlers

By Robert Grant 04/05/2010 06:31:42 PM Comments (0)

Shorn of goalkicking machine Nick Riewoldt, St Kilda plans to "scrap" their way to wins until they settle on a workable attack, coach Ross Lyon says.

Lyon on Tuesday defended the Saints' ability to overcome the loss of their hamstrung key forward.

But he denied the side had returned to its gritty style of three years ago, based on the past two low-scoring games against the Western Bulldogs (won) and Port Adelaide (lost).

"The last two weeks it was wet and windy and over in Adelaide we did struggle a bit," Lyon said on Tuesday.

"Certainly on the weekend we didn't walk off saying `Gee, we're rapt, we kicked seven goals.'

"We were really frustrated as well and I think everyone's going to understand we're working through it.

"It's a work in progress and it's a challenge and we think we can get on top of it, but it's clearly taking a little bit longer than two weeks.

"We'll keep working on the track and we've had really strong meetings on our offence today and we are really confident.

"Against Fremantle (in round four) we kicked 16 goals and they're a top-four team.

"We need to keep improving, we acknowledge that and that's the aim.

"We acknowledge that we're not in our best form but we're fighting on and we're scrapping and as it sits we're 5-1 and we have another massive game (against Carlton on Monday night) and we'll fight and scrap again.

"We're aiming to turn that offensive form around, but if you have a look at who we've played - Fremantle have lost one and that was to us, Collingwood have lost one and that was to us ... we're really fighting."

Lyon said the club was still examining what options it had for the coming weeks, ranging from playing defender Zac Dawson in the forward line to fielding Justin Koschitzke as the sole tall alongside several small forwards.

"It's not an exact science, it's part art-form but we've got to try and keep winning and finding our form while we're experimenting," Lyon said.

He also said he was happy the Saints would be lining up on Monday night, even though rare timeslots presented different problems.

"It's unique, we played in it last year. We love to be on Friday nights and Monday nights, the big stage...," he said.

"The only thing they do do, you either get a long break or a short break, so invariably it puts you under pressure on the shorter breaks.

"You've got to be mentally strong and have good conditioners and good players and we're sure we've got those ingredients, but it's a matter of, keep bringing it to the table.

"I think we've had a nine-day break and you can come off that a little bit slow or lethargic - we tend to whinge either way."

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