A lack of effort is a key factor in Geelong’s embarrassing AFL form slump, according to coach Chris Scott.
The Cats suffered a third-straight defeat on Saturday night, going down to Essendon by 17 points after losses to Gold Coast and Collingwood.
Geelong had 40 tackles for the match, including less than 15 in the first half.
Scott said while the Cats’ overall problems were complex, the statistics were sending a clear message.
“The numbers reflect a lack of effort,” Scott told Fox Sports’ AFL 360 on Monday.
“When it’s that extreme the numbers are a fair reflection.”
Scott said 40 tackles used to be enough to win a match, but the game had moved a long way since then.
“Now you have 40 tackles in a game and it’s an embarrassment which is a reflection of how the game has changed and it’s a reflection of just how poor we were,” he said.
Despite the Cats’ woes, Scott hinted he wouldn’t wield the axe at the selection table.
“My bias is towards supporting the players that have done it before,” he said.
Geelong can snap their losing streak, which has come after winning their first five, against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.
“We can’t talk about even what we were four or five weeks ago, we need to talk about what we are now which is not very strong defensively and … a little bit confused the other way as well,” Scott said.
He said the low tackle count was due to players being outmuscled, rather than outrun.
“A lot of the occasions where we were in a good position to tackle we just weren’t strong enough,” Scott said.
“There are other individual players that have some issues with the way they are playing at the moment.”
Scott said a last-quarter fightback which saw them get within 10 points of Essendon after being 40 down at the final change, showed their effort was inconsistent but not always bad.
“It does speak to the fact that there is some fight in the group,” Scott said.