FOR MUCH of Melbourne’s Round 4 loss, the ball was in the hands of its opposition.

It was like a game of ‘keepings off’ for the Cats, who worked the yellow Sherrin around the MCG and grinded their way to a three-point victory.

And while it wasn’t pretty, it proved too good for Simon Goodwin’s side.

“We couldn’t get the ball off them for large chunks,” Goodwin said post-game.

And there’s one key stat which shows just that: 105 uncontested marks to 46.

“I think we got the delay on the ball we were looking for, but we didn’t seal it off,” Goodwin said.

“Clearly they had too much time with the ball and … we’ll get better at that, get the ball back off teams quicker.

“To take 112 marks in the game’s a lot – it’s way too many.

“So, we’ll work on that. That’s going to give us good opportunity to go back inside 50 on turnover.

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RD 4 | Simon Goodwin post-match

Simon Goodwin speaks to the media after our narrow loss to Geelong

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“You saw when we did it well in the second quarter, we got the game looking the way we wanted it to, and again late in the game we got a similar look.

“It’s just being able to do it for longer – we’ve got to give it more energy. Once we get them into those positions, to seal the deal defensively.

“That’ll be a key thing for us in games moving forward.

“If teams want to play that way, it’s not the way that I’d like to play, but it got the job done today and we’ll come up with a way to defend it better.”

The ugly game style hasn’t exactly been lauded, with very few football fans enjoying the Sunday afternoon match-up, but all that matters for the Cats is they got the four points.

“They came with a plan, they executed it and got the job done,” Goodwin said.

“We’ll be prepared for that moving forward, we’ll defend better and we’ll be a team that will be on the climb again.”