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Melbourne Football Club

There's no easy way out, admits Neeld

AFTER another devastating defeat, Melbourne coach Mark Neeld has admitted "there's no easy way out".

The Demons were dealt a record-breaking 148-point thrashing by Essendon on Saturday night at the MCG, a disastrous showing after round one's 79-point loss to Port Adelaide.

"There is no easy way out. That is clear," a distraught-looking Neeld said post-match.

Neeld said he asked everyone after the game including coaches whether they were willing to do the work necessary to improve.

"[There is] only one way out of this and it is together. The whole club is hurting, every component. That is what we talked about: head down, work hard," Neeld said.

Neeld said it was pointless to pretend the game didn't happen and that the players had to be given time to feel the acute disappointment that came with the result.

Essendon outscored the Demons by 93 points in the second half kicking 15.10 to 1.1 and having 41 to 11 inside 50s.

The 148-point margin was the 20th biggest margin in AFL history.

"We're not going to forfeit next week. We're going to have as big a crack as we can. The beauty about competitive sport, in particular, is you get another go. We'll be back," Neeld said.

While Melbourne came out fiercely it could not match the Bombers on the scoreboard and the margin was 55 points at half-time.

"We were combative early absolutely," Neeld said "[It] didn't last long enough."

With the players bereft of confidence, Neeld said it was important that tough love be mixed with care for the players as they worked their way through the slump.

"We have to show them a lot of care but a lot of tough love at the same time," Neeld said. "I'm pretty keen just to give them that message: my job is to look after them as well as educate them on how to play footy. I'm looking after them right now."

Neeld said it was too early after two rounds to declare he had lost patience with any individuals but said the team must find players who are consistently up for the fight.

However clearly the performances of Jack Watts (who Neeld said was ill coming into the game and was subbed off in the third quarter), Colin Sylvia and Mark Jamar were below par on the night.

The coach said the two young co-captains Jack Trengove and Jack Grimes would have to cope with the disappointment as they were clearly the best two leaders at the club.

With its midfield clearly in development phase and not able to match Essendon, Melbourne takes on the Eagles at the MCG in round three.

Serious questions are sure to be asked of the Melbourne Football Club but the message in the rooms was that everyone was up for the fight required and would stick together during the rebuild.

"We're not off the basement just yet," Neeld said.