Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna is unfazed about the prospect of going through the AFL season without a win and says his focus is on individual improvement and being competitive.
The Suns have lost their first three matches by a combined 290 points and, with such a young and inexperienced list, there appears little hope that a win is anywhere on the 2011 horizon.
He said there’s nothing new about talk emanating from the south that the Suns recruited too thinly by not signing enough uncontracted players and they are heading for a winless season.
“I’ve heard it enough,” McKenna said.
“You think ‘thanks very much, I’ve heard that before’ and move on.”
One point McKenna does make is not discussing the prospect of losing every game with his young playing group.
“It’s something we don’t talk about,” McKenna said.
“When we get it right like we saw on the weekend, for a bit more than a quarter, we are more than competitive.
“People sit back and measure the season on how big or small your losses are.
“Take away the last 15 minutes (against Melbourne) and we were 33, 37 points down and it’s a good effort for a side that has only played three games together.”
McKenna is not only fighting off talk his side will not win a match, but also that his club is being too lenient with captain Gary Ablett.
Ablett stayed behind after the Western Bulldogs road trip to socialise, and upon his return a couple of days later declared he was feeling sore, before pulling out of last Sunday’s match because of a calf complaint.
Former Sydney coach Paul Roos questioned the professionalism of Ablett and the Suns’ for allowing their gun midfielder to stay behind for a couple of nights in Melbourne instead of immediately flying home for treatment.
McKenna said Roos’ comments on Fox Sports’ On The Couch would have been valid had Ablett not declared his injury until Tuesday at training.
“What Paul Roos said On The Couch is spot on,” McKenna said.
“We are no different to Sydney. No different to West Coast.
“If you report injured after the game you go straight home.
“He (Ablett) didn’t report injured after the game, he had a media commitment and stayed down. We were well aware of it.
“In Gary’s case, he didn’t report sore (after the game), he reported sore at out first training session and that happens.
“Enough has been said about it.”
The Suns had only a light training session on Tuesday at a local gym ahead of Saturday’s clash with Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium and McKenna said he expects Ablett to return.
“He’s going to have a run today but he’s pretty good. I’m pretty certain he’ll play,” he said.
However, defender Michael Coad will miss at least three months – possibly the season, after scans revealed he tore the hamstring off the bone against Melbourne.