THE MESSAGE was pretty clear from Melbourne’s skipper post game.

Fresh off a loss at the MCG, Max Gawn said his side’s performance was simply unacceptable.

“That’s not good enough today,” he told Melbourne Media just moments after the final siren.

“This team’s, this club’s, got to start winning games.

“We’ve got to put ourselves in games in first halves and we probably didn’t do that in the second quarter, and [left] too much of a result to peg back in the last.

“They’re a good side and we let them play Richmond footy today.”

The Tigers secured a 27-point victory, with a four goal to none second term largely responsible for the result.

And with skill errors hurting the Dees in transition, Gawn highlighted this as an area that requires significant improvement.

“We’re continuing to work on it … but today was probably a worrying sign at times,” he said.

“We’ve got to be cool and calm and collected with the ball.

“It’s harder to do than it is to say, so we’ll keep practicing, we’ll keep working on it, but I’m extremely disappointed.

“That’s a game we could’ve won if we just played some better footy in that second quarter.”

There were a number of reasons why the Dees broke down on Sunday, and the over-handball in confined spaces was one of them.

02:16 Mins
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RD 5 | Max Gawn post-match

We speak to Max Gawn after a disappointing loss to Richmond

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“I did feel like we handballed a lot,” Gawn said.

“At times it’s part of our game plan to go quick when we’re forward of centre.

“Were they there? Maybe not.

“But the endeavour’s probably there – in fact the endeavour is there, just the execution at the moment [isn’t].

“We could all put our hand up and say we missed a couple today, and yeah, I don’t know what to say – it’s just disappointing.”

But despite the frustration that comes with registering just one win from four games, Gawn hasn’t given up hope.

“Not at all, not at all,” he said.

“As much as it’s a cliché, week by week, I’m that excited now to go out and play Goldy up in [Sydney].

“It’s nowhere near [season over]. We’re definitely right in this season still.

“Couple of little things we’ve got to turn around and I suppose majority of people, majority of fans, would be [blaming] the execution today, and hopefully we can get on that up there when we get to Sydney and work on it.”

The Demons now depart Victoria for a five-week stint in their New South Wales hub, where they’ll have the chance to kickstart their 2020 season.

“I’ll see it like that, hopefully the rest of the boys do. It’s a good chance to be together.

“Five weeks, five really important games of football. We’re going to aim to win every single one, so it starts Gold Coast, Saturday.”