The Adelaide Crows were left to rue poor accuracy in front of goal on Saturday and now their coach has made some tough admissions.
Adelaide’s frustrated players will roll up their sleeves and get to work on fixing their broken goalkicking radar in the wake of Saturday night’s heartbreaking loss to St Kilda.
The Crows did a lot right to lead the top-four hopefuls by 11 points at three-quarter time at Adelaide Oval, but shot themselves in the foot with horrendous conversion in front of goal in the 14.6 (90) to 9.15 (69) loss.
It was Adelaide’s fourth defeat in a row, which left Matthew Nicks’ side with a disappointing 3-7 record after a bright start to the season.
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“We’re all frustrated and angry and I know our supporters are,” Nicks said.
“We’re not here to lose, but in saying that I was really positive with our group because we ticked 10 or 12 boxes of things we got right.
“We can pinpoint exactly what it was that cost us the game.
“We know what to work on and we’re already working on that, we’re already putting the hours in, and we know that it will turn quickly.
“Sometimes it’s contagious, you miss three or four early and all of a sudden the goalposts seem like they’re closer to together.
“We’ll get to work, we stay positive, put our heads down and get to work.”
The Crows can ill afford a repeat of the wayward performance when they face Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday, a venue where they haven’t won since 2003 and are on an 11-game losing streak.
Young star Josh Rachele is in doubt to make the trip after he was subbed out late in the loss to the Saints with a corked hip with Nicks hinting a rest is on the cards for the 19-year-old who has played every game 10 rounds into his debut season.
Nicks has several selection queries to ponder ahead of the clash, in particular at the ruck position where inexperienced big man Kieran Strachan has been preferred over Reilly O’Brien for the past two matches.
O’Brien pressed his case for an AFL recall with a sublime 37-possession, 42-hitout display for Adelaide’s SANFL team, but Nicks liked what he saw from Strachan who gathered 17 disposals and had 19 hit-outs pitted against Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall.
“We were pleased with Strachanie’s game,” the coach said.
“Around the ground he ended up with 17 (possessions) and we thought our midfielders fought it out really well and that’s what we’re after.
“It’s the group, not the individual, in that area.
“We knew coming in … that it’s not necessarily going to be a game where you are going to win hit-outs but what he did was the work on the ground and I thought Strachan was very good around the ground.
“I was really pleased with the way that Strachanie fought.”
Originally published as ‘Frustrated and angry’: Adelaide Crows coach Matthew Nicks laments wayward performance