Every drought-breaking win is historic and joyful. Melbourne fans are currently experiencing the borderline delirium that follows such a victory. It’s not a stretch…
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin didn’t quite say “stuff you” to the doubters of his AFL club.
And he didn’t say the Demons of old may have panicked during somewhat of a mid-season slump.
But he certainly came close after re-taking top spot of the ladder by dismissing Port Adelaide by 31 points on Thursday night.
Goodwin praised his club’s “ability to stay calm” as pundits questioned their premiership credentials after two losses in three games.
“Clearly there was people that were starting to doubt us,” Goodwin said.
“There was people starting to question whether we were going to continue to perform.
“In games like that, really important, we were able to step up and I’m really proud of our players and I am really proud of our club for staying calm.”
Inside the club, confidence never wavered, Goodwin said.
“Internally there is a lot of belief in our game, there is a lot of belief in the way we play,” he said.
“And there is a lot of trust in the playing group and the staff and that’s a really good position to be in.
“When you’re under pressure you can draw on those experiences and come back and execute.
“Their (his players) ability to reset themselves and to understand what wins and what doesn’t win was really clear and they were able to execute that.”
Demon ace Christian Petracca’s three-goal, 33-disposal performance inspired the 12.14 (86) to 8.7 (55) win over Port.
“He likes to continue to play a really high level but he also knows he can elevate his game, and that is what the best players do in the competition,” Goodwin said.
“Last year was clearly his breakout season but he has continued in really strong form this year.
“The thing I have loved about Christian is in the bigger games, and tonight was one of them, he’s able to impact and stand up.
“Some of his chase down tackles, defensively, that is really a hallmark of when he is at his best – he impacts on both sides of the footy.”