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Demons told to focus on the job

Greg Buckle and Melissa Woods 13/05/2011 04:04:22 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey is challenging his players to get their minds back on the job after a week dominated by Jack Trengove's controversial ban.

Bailey insists the on-baller's three-match suspension for a head-slamming tackle will only become a distraction if it's not managed properly by the club.

Melbourne's build-up to Saturday's round-eight clash with North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium has been plagued by drama, with Trengove suspended at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday and the teenager's appeal rejected two days later.

Bailey said the loss of Trengove and injured pair Mark Jamar and Jack Grimes presented the Demons with a major challenge.

Judging by the efforts of the Melbourne players on Twitter this week, their thoughts are with tribunal issues rather than how to keep North's midfield quiet.

But Bailey insists the seventh-placed Demons are on track to give a good account of themselves against the lowly Kangaroos.

"Unfortunately the decision didn't go our way and it's now up to us to not allow it to become a distraction and get on with business," Bailey said on Friday.

"Every week in footy there are always curveballs that are thrown at you. How you deal with it and how you move on from it is a test for all clubs.

"It can be (a distraction) if you allow it to be."

Melbourne recalled 34-gamer Stefan Martin to play first ruck with Jamar out, while Neville Jetta, Michael Newton and Jamie Bennell come in for Trengove, Grimes and Matthew Bate who was dropped.

"We'll miss them but we've got blokes who'll come in and we probably become a little bit unpredictable now," said Bailey, who faces uncertainty over his coaching future despite last week's 96-point win over Adelaide.

After losing to Geelong by 11 goals last week, 15th-placed North regain forwards Lachie Hansen and Aaron Edwards.

The Kangaroos beat Melbourne by 10 points in round 22 last year to claim ninth spot while the Demons finished 12th. Both clubs with young playing lists were tipped to be big improvers in 2011.

"A lot of the time things don't go to plan," rover Daniel Wells said, reflecting on North's 1-5 start.

"In a couple of the games, we simply weren't good enough.

"We've realised that and we've trained to rectify that.

"When we do play against the really good teams, we realise where we need to be.

"There's no difference this weekend. Melbourne's a really good team.

"I suppose we're in similar positions but they're higher than us on the ladder.

"It's going to be a really tough game."

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