Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin - (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin - (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin conceded his side was ‘’beaten by a good team’’ in their 22-point opening round loss to Sydney. 

Goodwin was asked about the club’s difficult off-season and whether it contributed to their second half fadeout, but he insisted it wasn’t a relevant factor. 

‘’I just think that Sydney’s scrimmage method, their clearance method, their ability to win contests was much better than ours,’’ he said. 

‘’They were a lot cleaner, and in the end that makes you look a little bit tired.

‘’So I don’t think it had anything to do with the emotion of the week or the way the club’s been, we were ready and we were prepared.’’

The lack of connection in the Dees forward half was a glaring issue throughout the game, as they failed to capitalise on periods of dominance due to poor entries. 

Key forwards Josh Schache and Jacob Van Rooyen struggled, while smalls Kade Chandler, Alex Neal-Bullen, and Charlie Spargo also failed to hit the scoreboard in a meaningful way. 

However, the conditions were challenging throughout the game with temperatures remaining in the mid 20s and the humidity reaching 90 per cent.

‘’Clearly we’ve got some personnel that we’re missing in the front half of the ground,’’ Goodwin said. 

‘’That’s important for us in the next few weeks to get a few guys back just to stabilise our personnel and give us a few more options in that space. 

‘’We’ve worked all summer and leant into the fact that we’ve got to get better in terms of our efficiency. 

‘’It doesn’t mean there’s going to be instant improvement, that might take time, but tonight was a really hard night to assess that.’’

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Star midfielder Clayton Oliver returned tonight following a challenging and interrupted off-season, and Goodwin was pleased with his contribution. 

‘’It was a typical Clayton game, he was pretty tough around the clinches in the contest,’’ he said. 

‘’He’s still got some work to do, he probably fumbled the ball a bit at times. 

‘’But he’ll just evolve and get better in the next few weeks, it’s great to see him happy, healthy and back in the program.’’

Defender Jake Bowey left the field after a nasty collision with Sydney’s Justin McInerney in the third quarter, with the extent of his injury to be known over the coming days. 

‘’It’s probably looking like a collarbone at this stage, but we just need to get some scans and get that looked at,’’ he said. 

‘’It’s a pretty courageous effort from him, he put his body on the line and came off second best.’’ 

In positive news, the Dees will welcome back Kysaiah Pickett from suspension for their clash against the Western Bulldogs next week. 

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