Demons to keep faith in wayward forwards

Melbourne tall forwards Tom McDonald and Ben Brown will face Gold Coast this week.
Melbourne tall forwards Tom McDonald and Ben Brown will face Gold Coast this week.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin will keep the faith in his team's misfiring forward line for at least another week despite the Demons' recent scoring woes.

Since making a stunning 11-1 start to the season, the Demons have won just two of their past six matches in a rut that has put their top-four hopes at risk.

Their average score during that period has dropped to 69 points per game, but just as concerning has been their woeful goalkicking accuracy.

The Demons have posted 57.74 over their past six games - the worst rate in the league over that stretch.

Goodwin says his players have been completing extra goalkicking practice this week in a bid to fix the recent rot.

And he's backing his team's attack - which features tall forwards Ben Brown, Luke Jackson, and Tom McDonald - to regain their mojo.

"We're happy with our forward line in terms of how they're starting to work together," Goodwin said when asked if he would consider handing Sam Weideman a recall.

"We'll be consistent with that for the next week or so and give them every opportunity to continue to build that cohesiveness required.

"We are generating shots and generating a forward half that I think in the next four weeks will show that they've got the cohesiveness and the talent to kick winning scores.

"I've got enormous belief in our forward half.

"I think they've got enough talent there, and I think they'll start kicking a winning score for us."

Goodwin said improving the team's goalkicking accuracy is a priority.

"Some of the quality of our shots isn't where it needs to be, in terms of where we are taking them on the ground," Goodwin said.

"So we're working on our method to get better shots, but we do need to improve our accuracy.... It's something that we're not ignoring."

Jackson has booted just one goal in his past four games.

The 19-year-old ruck/forward has averaged just nine disposals and 10 hitouts per game during that stretch.

Goodwin said statistics alone don't tell the tale of Jackson's value to the Demons.

"People can be pretty hard on Jacko," Goodwin said.

"He's not a big possession getter. He provides an enormous support for Max in the ruck, and he's a real disruptor around contest areas.

"He doesn't need high possessions to have a high impact in the game."

Goodwin believed his team's clash with Gold Coast on Saturday will be held at Metricon Stadium, with the AFL still yet to officially confirm the venue.

Australian Associated Press