Facing the media after the ladder leaders’ shock loss, the skipper said the team’s leadership group – and not the coaches – “need to take full responsibility” for the result, which saw North Melbourne kick ten goals to none in a scintillating first term.
“I’ll put my hand up – it was probably one of my poorer games this year, and probably for the last two or three years,” Walker said today.
The spearhead had just seven disposals and a solitary goal as the Crows struggled to find answers to the Roos onslaught.
But he denied the Crows – with six wins straight to start the season – got ahead of themselves.
“I wouldn’t call it a wake-up call… I don’t think we believed our own hype at all,” he said.
“We had a bad day; we haven’t had a bad year. We put that aside and move on.”
However, he insisted the club would learn from the match, which will be forensically reviewed today.
“We won’t let it go, but we’ll review it just like a normal game,” he said.
While the Crows finished on top in contested possessions, they were too often second to the ball in the first term, when the damage was done.
“You don’t need to get to this stage where you lose a game to understand how important [winning the contest] is,” he said.
“We understand contested footy to us is a massive part of our game plan… as soon as we go away from that we get the results we got this week.”
But he was philosophical about the loss ahead of a home clash with Melbourne, who are also smarting from a surprise defeat to Hawthorn.
“That’s footy… there’s a bigger picture for us,” he said.
“You don’t have to win them all, but ideally we don’t dish up what we did on the weekend because we’re far better than that.
“We were pretty ordinary both in our ability to win our fair share in the contest and our ability to slow down and pressure the opposition.
“When you sit on top of the ladder teams want to knock you off [and] you need to be able to take the punch in the face and respond.”
Walker was hopeful linkman Tom Lynch would shake off the results of concussion to play against the Demons, in a clash that will see the return of the skipper’s best mate and former teammate Bernie Vince.
“It’s his 200th game – I’d love to be a part of beating him,” he laughed.
“But he’s had a great career… it’ll be great to have him back.”
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