St Kilda coach Brett Ratten concedes his lacklustre team is running out of time to “get going” after a second-straight hammering, this time form Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Sunday night.
Trying to get a response from his men after being thumped by Richmond, Ratten cited a lack of confidence and an inability to reproduce the strengths that propelled the club into the finals last year as reasons for the 54-point loss to Port.
Ratten was happy to suggest the AFL season was a marathon but said the Saints needed to start making an impact on the ladder.
“It is a challenge for any team, you go through waves of form and confidence,” Ratten said. “The season is a marathon, but you have got to get going at a certain stage.
“You can’t sit there and say ‘it is a marathon and we will get going’. You can’t choose or time will run out. For us as a group, we need to dig in a bit deeper and try and find a way quickly.”
Ratten lamented the lack of scoring power of his team that will now take on resurgent Hawthorn next weekend.
“That (scoring) was a great strength of ours from an accuracy and potency point of view and it has dried up,” he said.
“We just don’t get the scoreboard nourishment that other teams are getting.
“I think we’re lacking a little bit of confidence to click and gel.
“Some of the strengths we had last year are not showing.”
Brett Ratten couldn’t get a response from his St Kilda players on Sunday night. Picture: Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Ratten blamed a lack of continuity with players as a key factor in his team’s poor showing this season as well as trying to adjust to the less rotations and length of the games compared with 2020.
“The players are trying to find a way and our style is not shining through like we want,” he said. “We need to get confidence back.”
Paddy Ryder looks set to front for his first AFL match of the year after impressing for Sandringham in the VFL on Saturday.
“Everything going to plan he will,” Ratten confirmed.
“To have Paddy back will allow us to do things with Rowan (Marshall), and Paddy can go forward and mark it.”
Under-fire wingman Brad Hill is in some doubt for the clash with Hawthorn after leaving the game with “achilles awareness”.
“He’s a bit tight there,” Ratten said.
“He’ll be a test for next week. Especially after (Jade) Gresham snapping his (achilles), we’re not taking any risk with that because that’s a nine-month injury.”
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