Under-siege coach Leon Cameron has conceded his side is in a form slump and has called on players and himself to fight to save their season amid the intense scrutiny that awaits them in a “defining” month ahead.
Cameron said Greater Western Sydney “leaders” were down on form and needed to lift after a deflating 67-point defeat to reigning premiers Melbourne, leaving their season in the balance at 1-4.
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The out-of-contract coach, who revealed earlier this month that he and the club had put off talks until the end of the season, declared that he would front the pressure head on and back himself in.
Cameron described the third term avalanche, where the Giants conceded 10 goals, as “really frustrating”, believing the Giants were in the contest for the rest of the match.
“We are flat, we are in a form slump. We are 1-4, we are not going to hide from it,” Cameron said post-match.
“We’ve got some players down, there’s some players down on form. We’re in a form slump and in this you’ve got to front it head on.
“Some of our leaders aren’t playing the best footy, but I have faith.
“The next month is going to be a defining one for us as a footy club because there’ll be opportunity for young kids but you want your older players and leaders who are a little bit off the tucker at the moment to fight their way out.
“Is there going to be more scrutiny on us next week? Absolutely. But if I’m asking my players not to shy away from it and to hit it head on, then it’d be pretty ordinary if the coach doesn’t.
“I’ve been there, in a number of years where we were a bit off our tucker and we’re down on form, and I’ll back myself in and back our coaching staff in to do that.”
The Giants will welcome back co-captain Toby Greene from suspension against St Kilda on Friday night but Cameron said he won’t be the antidote to their struggles.
“I was looking at Taylor Walker and he seems to have hit the ground running after weeks out so fingers crossed he can do that but we can’t expect miracles,” Cameron said.
“He hasn’t played a game yet, he hasn’t played a practice game but he has done an enormous amount of work. He’ll take a couple of weeks to get that game fitness, and clearly he is such an energiser for us.
“If we think Toby is going to be the difference next Friday night; this is a club thing, this a personnel, 44 players on our list thing. Whether you’re injured, whether you’re playing at the moment, VFL or AFL, we need to come with a really right appetite and we need to improve on the basics.”
Cameron said there were positives to come from the lopsided contest, including highly touted draftee Finn Callaghan’s debut, Tanner Bruhn’s emergence in the midfield and Matt Flynn’s gallant effort up against Max Gawn and Luke Jackson in the ruck.