COACH Paul Roos has praised Tom McDonald’s final quarter impact, when the key defender shifted forward and almost helped his side get over the line against Essendon at the MCG on Saturday.

McDonald booted a goal and provided a focal point after playing down back, but it was still wasn’t enough for Melbourne to come back from a 24-point deficit at three quarter-time. In the end, the Demons went down by nine points in a performance marred by inaccurate goalkicking.

“At three quarter-time, we threw a few things around and him going up there – he did make a contest,” Roos said about McDonald, who finished with 28 touches and 10 marks.

“Today (Saturday) was pretty simple when dissecting the game. When we did get a contest, we did well and we either missed goals or the ball came out [of forward 50].”

“We felt we were getting the ball in there, but we just weren’t able to compete, so at three quarter-time, we had nothing to lose and we were just changing the mix a bit.

“It certainly gives you food for thoughts moving forward.”

Roos said the fact that Essendon had Joe Daniher kick five goals straight at the other end made a massive difference.

“Both from a psyche point of view and clearly the result is affected by the kicking,” he said.

“We weren’t unhappy with the way we were playing at half-time – we just weren’t kicking the ball well and in the third quarter we had to change something for the last quarter in order to kick some goals.

“So it was good of Tommy to go up there and have an impact.”

Roos said ruckman Max Gawn, who had a career-best 58 hit outs, also impressed.

“He’s playing some good footy and he’s still got some bad habits as some of them do, but he’s working on his game and getting better,” he said.