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‘Positive, excited’ Dees lifting the veil

Demons win second straight1:59

AFL - Melbourne Demons have won their second straight game after topple the RIchmond Tigers at the MCG

Nathan Jones leads his team off the MCG after beating Richmond. Picture: Wayne Ludbey

Grant BakerHerald Sun

MELBOURNE coach Paul Roos says his players came to pre-season training “positive” and “excited” and are now being rewarded by consistent performance.

Roos coached the Demons to a third victory from five outings by defeating Richmond by 33 points on Sunday night.

He was asked on Monday whether the veil of negativity – a phrase he used in reference to the club after a bad loss to Carlton last August – had now been lifted.

“One of the things we had noticed when we came back to training was how positive the players were and how excited they were to come back to the footy club,” Roos said on 3AW.

“How much is due to the massive amount of changes we’ve made (to the list), the confidence in each other, the fact that the coach had been there for two years (by) then and obviously Simon Goodwin coming in and Brendan McCartney coming in as well.

“There was certainly a different feel to pre-season when we got back there.”

Roos said an aim this year had been to narrow the gap between Melbourne’s best and worst football.

“What we are trying to do after last year … is get some consistency with our performance,” Roos said.

Max Gawn wins the hitout over Ivan Maric.

Max Gawn wins the hitout over Ivan Maric.Source:Getty Images

“The gap between our best and worst (last year) was far too great.

“We’re seeing a lot more maturity in our group and a group that understands our game plan a lot better.

“It’s only five weeks into the season, but what we are seeing now is a lot more consistent – there has been some real improvement, the coaching group is working really hard and they deserve a lot of credit.

“At this stage it is starting to pay off.”

Roos would not say whether the 18-month wait for 2014 No.2 draft pick Christian Petracca to make his senior debut would be over when the Dees take on St Kilda on Saturday.

Roos said he had consciously endeavoured to end Melbourne’s habit of handing high draft picks spots in the senior side.

“One of the real positives – and something that I was really conscious of when I first arrived at Melbourne was making young kids earn spots,” Roos said.

“I think we would all agree that through the period that early draft picks were handed spots and that was something that was a very different philosophy to the football club I came from.

Demons press conference7:28

AFL - Melbounre Demons press conference after their win over the Richmond Tigers

“That is something that I tried to bring to the Melbourne Football Club – young players had to earn their spot and earn it through developing in the VFL level.

“It is certainly something we have changed a little bit.”

Roos said what role he would play at the club next year – if any – was yet to be decided.

Roos will hand the reins to Goodwin at the end of this season.

“It is something that we briefly touched on last year – (CEO) Peter (Jackson) and I and (football manager) Josh Mahoney.

“But now that the season has started we are all really focused on finishing out the year strongly, coaching out the year right to the line.”

“At this stage there hasn’t been any further discussion about that.”

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