Coach laments Demons' erratic AFL form - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coach laments Demons' erratic AFL form

Sam Lienert 20/06/2011 03:39:36 PM Comments (0)

Even coach Dean Bailey is unsure which Melbourne will show up for Saturday's crucial AFL clash with Richmond at the MCG.

The inspired Demons who thumped Fremantle by 89 points on Sunday, taking the average margin of their five wins to 64 points, the AFL's highest - or the vastly inferior version, with six losses at an average of 49 points.

Given they have posted consecutive wins just once this season - against Brisbane and Gold Coast in rounds three and four - Bailey is desperate to see Sunday's form repeated.

But the Demons' coach admitted it was impossible to predict.

"I'd have to be Merlin the magician to work that out, I reckon," Bailey said on Monday.

"I'd have to look in my crystal ball."

As much as he and his players had stressed the need for consistency of effort, he acknowledged talk was cheap.

"We're all waiting to see it," Bailey said.

"We'll get judged next week and we expect a very consistent effort, which is what we're trying to do.

"We're trying to break the cycle."

One thing Bailey is sure of is the clash's importance, not only because the winner could move into the top eight.

He said there was also a strong rivalry between two clubs that believe they are on a similar upward path and have secured some budding midfield stars in their time at the bottom.

Bailey said Melbourne youngsters Tom Scully, Jack Trengove and Jordie McKenzie would relish battling Richmond counterparts such as Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio.

"There's that real match-up, but also the excitement all those players have brought to both of their clubs, so I think it will be a terrific game," he said.

"I think both clubs are looking at it through the eyes of taking that next step on each other."

Melbourne should be boosted by the return of No.1 ruckman Mark Jamar, out since round seven with a knee injury.

With Stefan Martin and youngster Max Gawn performing well in his absence, Bailey said the Demons would strongly consider playing all three, and using two as marking targets in attack.

The Demons are hopeful key defender Colin Garland will play, despite further damaging an ankle that had him sidelined for the previous four rounds.

Bailey also expected skipper Brad Green, who kicked five goals against the Dockers, would have no trouble overcoming a rolled ankle.

Green was on crutches on Sunday night and Monday morning but Bailey said that was just precautionary.

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