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Homecoming Goodwin short of tall options for Crows

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Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has warned his players they can’t afford to go missing for a quarter against AFL ladder-leaders Adelaide.

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The Demons have won the fourth-most quarters in the league but are 10th on the ladder with a 3-4 record after seven rounds.

Goodwin’s side has lost four of the past five matches, with the last defeat coming after they conceded a five-goals-to-one opening quarter to Hawthorn, who’d won just one game at the time.

The Crows are hurting after North Melbourne ended their unbeaten run last week and Goodwin said the Demons must must maintain intensity for four quarters to get a win at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

“We’ve had some quarters where we’ve lost momentum in games and it’s cost us some bad results,” the onetime Adelaide captain told reporters today.

“We’ve got to learn from those and get better but it’s nothing new for a developing team, a team that’s emerging, to go through things like we are right now.

“We’re not abnormal to the journey that a lot of teams go through.

“We’ve played seven games and we’ve been in winning positions in the last quarter of all of them.

“When you’re a developing team you’re still learning how to turn those opportunities into victories … that’s where we’re at.”

The absence of ruckmen Max Gawn (hamstring) and Jake Spencer (shoulder) continues to be a major headache for the Demons, who lost the hitouts 61-24 against the Hawks.

But Goodwin has no other choice but to continue to experiment with a makeshift ruck rotation.

“We’ll continue to look at what the best way forward is,” he said.

“Cam Pedersen’s done a great job, Tom McDonald’s done a little bit and Jack Watts (too).

“We haven’t got many options at the moment, so between the three of them we’ll continue to find out what’s best week to week.”

Gawn started running a fortnight ago after undergoing hamstring tendon surgery following his side’s round three loss to Geelong.

Goodwin reported his first-choice ruckman is slightly ahead of schedule but is still five or six weeks away from resuming.

Angus Brayshaw will return to the VFL this weekend after a fortnight’s rest following another concussion.

-AAP

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