Simon Goodwin says Melbourne have six days to save their AFL season after an “unacceptable” display in a 51-point hammering from Port Adelaide.
The fourth-year coach conceded he was left more disappointed than ever by the insipid performance at the Gabba on Thursday night.
The Dees were beaten in all key areas of the game and saw star midfielder Clayton Oliver reported for striking when he caught Power ruckman Peter Ladhams high with a glancing blow.
Melbourne have two games in a tough make-or-break period in Adelaide next week, taking on the winless Crows and North Melbourne.
“We have to start winning games of footy and we’ve got two important games coming up, including one in six days,” Goodwin said.
“I’m looking forward to that.
“It’s going to define how we go for our season and our players need to get back together really quickly and we need to come up with some solutions.”
Demons fans had built up hope over the previous three weeks with wins over Gold Coast and Hawthorn, followed by a narrow defeat to high-flying Brisbane.
But it was dashed amid a raft of skill errors against Port Adelaide in what has become an all too familiar sight in the two years since the club’s 2018 preliminary final appearance.
“I’m so disappointed for our supporters,” Goodwin said.
“They were starting to see a side that was building a way of playing that was highly competitive against really good sides and tonight was just nowhere near the level.”
Melbourne were smashed by Port Adelaide in inside 50s (47-31) and failed to match the ladder leaders’ intensity, kicking only four goals in their lowest score of the season – 4.8 (32) to 12.11 (83).
“That’s as poor a performance we’ve put on this year,” Goodwin said.
“For the majority of the year we’ve improved our method, improved our stability and improved a lot of things, but tonight was unacceptable.
“We clearly got beaten by a pretty good team, but it was the way we got beaten (that was most disappointing).”