MELBOURNE fell just three points short of victory on Sunday, despite failing to play its best footy against the Cats.

The Round 4 loss leaves the Demons with plenty to work on, after wasting their chances for much of the afternoon.

“We had our moments throughout the game, so did Geelong, and they probably took most of theirs,” Lever told Melbourne Media.

“It was really disappointing to walk off with a loss, but I’m hoping the coaches have a lot of learnings for us from this game and I think as players we have a lot of learnings as well.”

Melbourne had patches of dominance throughout the contest, keeping the Cats goalless in the second term, but its inability to play four quarters proved costly in the end.

“I think we’ve got the right system, because we know that when it works, we get to play really good football – as you saw today for a period of time throughout the game,” Lever said.

“So for us, I think it’s just doing it consistently.

“I know that’s a pretty easy thing to say, but for us, I think it’s really important that we continue to drive that system every single minute of the game, because you see the best teams in the league at the minute – that’s what they’re doing most of the time.

“That’s what we’re striving to be – one of the best teams in the comp – and at the minute, I think when we’re going really well, we can put scores on the board, defend really well and be great around the contest.

“But then when we’re not, we leak goals.”

Once again, the Dees were inefficient going forward, scoring just six majors from 46 inside 50s.

But Lever says the improvement in that facet of the game will take time.

“It’s something that we’ve been working on for a while now,” he said.

“For us, we work at every training on it and I think that it’s just at training, putting ourselves under game-like pressure.

“There’s training-like pressure, but then there’s game-like pressure.

“Like today, every time you get the ball there’s always someone around you putting a lot of pressure on you.

“I think it’s just really putting ourselves in that situation at training, because then it will come out game day.

“Sometimes we can connect really well, so I think we’ve got the capabilities of doing it, it’s just now putting it on show more often.”

The Demons’ skills were an issue at the MCG, but they weren’t the only scrappy team on the field.

Both sides turned the ball over continuously, making for pretty ugly viewing.

“If you watch most footy, I think it’s a bit like that at the minute,” Lever said.

“You’d have to say that the long lay-off would be some sort of issue with that in terms of kicking with a partner for 12 weeks by yourself in isolation – it’s not like … training at game-like intensity.

“It’s probably just having that more awareness and making sure that we convert when we go forward and even around the ground, I think our skills can improve.

“But you’ve probably got to understand as well the pressure is going up.

“A lot more teams are really focusing on defence and pressure, and therefore sometimes … not only in our games, but other games, the skill levels aren’t as great.”

Watch below as Lever reviews the loss in the rooms post-game.

03:48 Mins
Published on

RD 4 | Jake Lever post-match

We speak to Jake Lever after a close loss to Geelong at the MCG

Published on