Goodwin's Demons back in AFL finals hunt

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says his AFL club is back in AFL finals contention after two wins in five days in Adelaide.

SIMON GOODWIN
SIMON GOODWIN Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin stopped short of saying it.

But Goodwin could have justifiably uttered the phrase "I told you so" after a five-day stint in Adelaide which turned his club's AFL season around.

Goodwin's charges belted North Melbourne by 57 points on Sunday night at Adelaide Oval, after hammering Adelaide by 51 points at the same venue last Wednesday night.

After arriving in Adelaide in 15th spot, the Demons depart in ninth, with a game in hand on most other clubs.

Goodwin is praising the maturity of his players and staff to ignore the noise which followed them to Adelaide last Wednesday.

Club chairman Glen Bartlett had described their performance in a heavy loss to Port Adelaide as "insipid" with some commentators openly querying Goodwin's tenure as coach.

Amid the criticism, and before the two games in Adelaide, Goodwin protested that Melbourne's season was still well and truly alive.

He's been proven correct.

"We have been really calm as a footy department around what our game was looking like and where were at and what we were starting to build," Goodwin said after the Demons' 13.14 (92) to 5.5 (35) thrashing of North.

"We haven't got the results all the time. But we have played a certain way for a period now and we are starting to get those rewards now.

"We defended really strongly against (North); we are becoming a really hard team to play against defensively.

"And that is what is pleasing us most. A lot of our attack is built off good defence and good contest stoppage work.

"We think our game is coming together nicely."

Goodwin was also heartened that the victory over the Kangas came without captain Max Gawn and vice-captain Jack Viney.

He expected both Gawn, battling a sore knee and a torn back muscle, and Viney (concussion) to press to play against Collingwood in Brisbane on Saturday night.

The Demons have only Marty Hore (thigh, indefinite), Harry Petty (groin, indefinite), Kade Kolodjashnij (head, indefinite) and Aaron Nietschke (knee, season) on their injured list.

"It's a great position to be in," Goodwin said.

"They guys did a power of work in the summer to put themselves in this position ... we're healthy, so we get a chance to maximise that through this compressed part of the year."