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GWS Giants coach Leon Cameron prepares to face critics after loss to Melbourne

GREATER Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron says his club is ready to front its form slump “head on” as the Giants look to stop their season from slipping away after being blown away by reigning premiers Melbourne.

The Demons were far too strong for the Giants, with a barnstorming third term that saw them kick 10 goals on the way to a 67-point thrashing of Cameron’s side, which has landed just one win in the opening five weeks of the season.

The Giants had been in the contest in the first half but fell away in the third quarter, with Cameron lamenting the horror third term.

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“We’re flat. We’re in a form slump. We’re 1-4, we’re not going to hide away from it. We contributed to the third quarter. It’s not just Melbourne, we made some poor decisions, we gave the ball back to them, they punished us – end of story,” Cameron said post-game.

“We have to own up to our end of the bargain and we’re not getting some basic fundamentals right. We’re not scoring off turnover, we’re not punishing the opposition when we have a chance, we’re making silly mistakes and the opposition, like Melbourne who are the best, really hurt you.

“We’ve got some players down on form. We’re in a form slump and in this you have to front it head on. We’re not going to run away from it. Round six we’re on in six days against St Kilda, they’re flying at 4-1 and the only way to hit this competition when you’re in a form slump is to keep backing up and taking the little wins.”

Cameron, who is out of contract at the end of this season, described the next month as defining for the Giants and said he understood focus would be directed at his future after the club’s start to 2022.

“If I sat here and said there’s not pressure on the senior coach I’d be lying to you, wouldn’t I? There’s pressure everywhere. Is there going to be more scrutiny on us next week? Absolutely,” he said.

“But if I’m asking my players not to shy away from it and hit it head on then it would be pretty ordinary if the coach doesn’t. I’ve been there a number of years where we’ve been in similar positions and a bit off our tucker and down on form and I back myself in and back our coaching staff in to do that.”

It was a more stress-free night in the coaches box for Melbourne counterpart Simon Goodwin, who praised his team’s selflessness as it continued its unbeaten start to the season.

“We’re not looking for perfection. We’re looking to be a really strong footy team. The cream is the connection on top, forward of centre and the ability to hit the scoreboard. Make no bones about it, we want to do that, but we don’t want to lose the foundation of our footy team. We’re not striving for perfection, we’re just striving to be the best we can possibly be,” Goodwin said.

“Perfection and looking to dominate every game, every week is just not a reality in AFL footy. There’s a lot of great teams out there and a lot of competition and we’ll respect every opposition we come up against.”

Jake Lever ended the game with a sore ankle which he rolled, but the club is optimistic he will be available next week against Richmond on Sunday night, while his defensive partner Steven May overcame illness and was in doubt to face the Giants but pieced together a brilliant game in the back half.

 

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