Suns must stand up, says McKenna
No longer able to defend his battling AFL team, fed-up Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna has demanded the Suns stand up for themselves ahead of Saturday night’s home clash with North Melbourne.
The role of the protective parent has been ditched by McKenna in the aftermath of his young side’s woeful 95-point last round loss to St Kilda.
The Suns are no strangers to defeat – remarkably they have lost 18 straight games including all 11 of this year’s fixtures.
But it seems the final straw was the Saints marching to victory last weekend – a loss McKenna believed was as shattering as their club record 150-point mauling at Geelong last year.
Some critics even accused Suns players of giving up against St Kilda.
McKenna conceded he could no longer defend his youngsters.
“How can you? It’s been spot on,” McKenna said of the scathing criticism the Suns copped this week.
“It’s not going to be an overnight fix but I would think (after) what’s been spoken about it’s now time for action.
“We sit around and have meetings and reviews and talk the talk – now we have to walk the walk.
“Just some effort, the way we want to play, what we want to stand for.
“It’s time to start standing up for ourselves.”
McKenna may have been more interested in actions but he still had plenty more to say, daring them to show some pride in the Suns guernsey.
“If you can’t stand for anything, you’ve got to at least stand for the jumper,” he said.
“There’s people on the Gold Coast that have put this club up, set this club up, defined this jumper, defined its colours.
“We’ve got to bring that jumper to life.
“We’ve had our free hit last year and now we’ve got to stand up as one of 18 clubs in the AFL.”
McKenna’s job is safe after re-signing for two more seasons but some players won’t be afforded that luxury.
The Suns list will be reduced from 46 to 42 at the end of the season, and after juggling the injection of young gun Jaeger O’Meara, Queensland zone selections and draft picks, up to 10 players could be cut.
Asked what would be a “step forward” against the Kangaroos, McKenna said: “Just having a four-quarter, consistent effort.
“Given what we’ve spoken about I’d think they’d be thinking about one thing, getting some respect and showing some fight this weekend.”
In another blow, Suns hard man Campbell Brown (knee) is in doubt for the game at Metricon Stadium – where the Gold Coast remain winless.© AAP 2013
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