Bruised Saints aim to refocus game plan
Quality target: Rhys Stanley at St Kilda's training session yesterday. Photo: Paul Rovere
ST KILDA is still brooding over what could have been. So close in round one. So close in round four. So close but so far. When there could be four wins there are just two and so they are losses that shape a season.
''We still look at last week's game and we are still smarting from that,'' St Kilda coach Scott Watters said yesterday. ''We let ourselves down, so this week is an opportunity for us to progress our own game plan but be respectful of what Melbourne bring to the table.
''It's not too much of a stretch of the imagination that we could be sitting here four and zip. We are two and two, that is the reality of it and we have work to do to find our way back into this competition.
''It is what it is, you win or lose a game and the ladder reflects it. It is wasted energy to think of what might be or what could be, but we are two and two.''
Energy is not wasted dwelling on results if it means addressing the causes of the loss.
''Conversion was an issue for us last week no doubt, we felt we had enough of the ball inside our forward 50 and in our front half to win the game, but it is interesting because three weeks prior to that our conversion had been very good, so it is not like we need to completely reinvent the wheel but there were missed opportunities last week.'' Watters said.
''We also think defensively there were a couple of things that let us down late in the game, so we will continue to look at both sides of our game and try and improve.''
A change to the forward structure has been thrust on St Kilda by the loss of Justin Koschitzke through suspension.
''In our squad of 25 we have the potential to bring in Beau Wilkes if we choose to or we can play slightly smaller. We still think with Nick [Riewoldt] and Rhys [Stanley] we have two really quality tall targets that can provide us the structure we want,'' said Watters, admitting the weather conditions might come into the decision.
For two years, Watters and his opposing coach tonight, Mark Neeld, shared an office. They know one another's thoughts on football well. So when Neeld raises the idea of Jack Watts playing on Riewoldt, Watters is immediately sceptical. He senses mischief not education as Neeld's motivation for raising the idea, even if it has merit.
But knowing one another's thoughts on football would little affect matters, he said.
''He will have expectations on what he thinks I will bring to the table and vice versa I will have expectations of what he will bring to the table, but you have to be careful about that because it is really easy to change that as coach. You plan for a lot of different contingencies,'' he said.
''I think it is already clearly evident the type of footy Mark wants to play, a contested brand of footy looking for territory where possible.''