The underperforming St Kilda midfielder was CHOSEN by angry manager after ‘worst performance of the season’ as Brett Ratten warns they will ‘carry’ no more duds
- The Saints were destroyed in the first half against the Western Bulldogs
- And that’s despite having everything to play for and a finals spot on the line
- Coach Brett Ratten singled out one player as an example of lack of effort
- He has warned there will be no more carrying players who don’t step in
St Kilda manager Brett Ratten has taken the rare step of publicly emphasizing an underperforming player after his side’s humiliating defeat by the Western Bulldogs on Friday.
The manager, who recently signed for two more seasons, was furious with his side – with a place in the AFL Top eight to play for on the line – completely capitulated on Friday evening.
The 28-point win for the Bulldogs was flattering in the end after St Kilda were extensively torn up in the first half.
St Kilda’s Jack Steel (left) delivered a captaincy performance against the Bulldogs while teammate Zak Jones (right) was well below his best
The Bulldogs had five unanswered goals in the first quarter, the Saints failed to reach 20 points by the main break and St Kilda had played just 13 tackles – well below their season average of 55.
Ratten said the Saints would “carry” players who didn’t lift in effort areas and called Zak Jones one of the culprits.
Jones finished the game with 18 dismounts, five marks and two clearances for a reasonable stat line, but he was almost invisible in the first half as the Bulldogs took the game away from the Saints.
Ratten is desperate for answers
“It’s something we have to do right. [captain] Jack Steele [26 disposals, 14 contested] did a great job getting back in and playing and he’s an A-class player but he needs more support,” Ratten said.
“I think Jones had four or five possessions in the first half of a half game. You can’t walk around in midfield and only have a few touches of the ball.
“So we all need a contribution and that’s what we got in the first half of the year.
“Right now we’re carrying too many who just aren’t at the level we’re aiming for or helping their teammates when it’s needed.”
Former North Melbourne Premiership winner and Foxfooty Expert David King slammed the Saints’ intensity, particularly on defense, after shellacking.
“I don’t know what they reward at St Kilda but it’s not pressure,” he said.
“They don’t care about defense. By the Saints, this is sub-AFL standard.
St Kilda now sit 10th on the ladder with a lower percentage than the top 8 sides
The Fox Footy pundit and former Saint Leigh Montagna called it “the worst performance of the year for St Kilda at half-time”.
“They didn’t fire a shot. They’re not competing at the level that St Kilda needs to be in order for them to win football games,” he added.
“The pressure was the number they had focused on the most to try and get their game on track but it let them down.
“Whether their bad attitude led to their bad method… They are lacking in confidence. It fell apart for St Kilda.