Time on the road could be the best way for St Kilda to rebuild its still strong finals ambitions according to co-captain Jack Steele.
Darkness enveloped the club after a 111-point walloping against the Western Bulldogs before they re-entered the light with a win over North Melbourne last weekend.
And Steele said the Saints, with a 5-6 win-loss record, could still repeat their 2020 effort and make the finals with two “winnable” games coming up.
He doesn’t know where those clashes against Sydney then Adelaide could be played, with a decision from the AFL looming.
But’s Steele was adamant an impending road trip, with an exit from Melbourne for two games certain, could help build on the momentum regained last week.
“Getting the group closer together and getting a bit of connection back among us is definitely going to give us an opportunity to perform better on the field,” Steele said.
“We can’t really blame that for our performances this year, but I feel like (time away together) can only help us.”
Steele said the travelling party could also include just the right amount of help for young forward Max King who has come under pressure after two goalless weeks.
King, in just his second season, had a request to work with former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd, his high-school coach, knocked back.
But Steele said too many voices could be “confusing” for King and working with St Kilda assistant coach Jarryd Roughead could be the best thing for him.
“You do sometimes forget he is in his second year of AFL football, there is a lot of pressure on him and he seems be doing OK,” Steele said.
“He’s only played 28 games and there’s a lot of expectation him.
Max King reached out to Matthew Lloyd for goal kicking help.
St Kilda said no.
Lloydy explains the circumstances behind it. ? pic.twitter.com/Z9uGCcL0yQ
“As a young player you can’t have too many voices impeding on you and getting yourself confused,
“People are definitely knowing their role. He has a close relationship with Roughy, who has a lot to say with what he does and trains.
“But we limit the number of people who go to him because you can confuse him.”
The Saints will be on the road for at least a fortnight as Melbourne grapples with its latest COVID-19 outbreak with a sting in Cairns, where they are due to play Adelaide in Round 12, to follow this week.
Steele said finals wins in both games would keep the club’s finals hopes alive and that had to be the main objective before their Round 13 bye. e
“It‘s still our goal to make the finals and we’ve got two very winnable games coming up before our bye,” Steele said.
“To get ahead of the ledger by then would be really nice to get things on our terms.
“We still probably need to win an extra game on top of that with how our percentage is, but it‘s definitely still a goal of ours and we see it as a very achievable one.”
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