MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin isn't concerned by the Demons' scoring drop-off, with his side falling short of the Western Bulldogs in Saturday night's top-of-the-ladder clash.
Melbourne registered its lowest first-half score of the season and finished with nine goals for the game as the Dogs recorded a 20-point win.
It was the fourth time in their past six games the Demons have kicked nine goals or less and will see them finish the round with likely the second-lowest score tally of clubs inside the top-eight. They have averaged 69 points a game since beating Brisbane in round 12.
But Goodwin said he didn't believe it was a major issue as his side handed over first position on the ladder to the Bulldogs.
"It's really about maximising opportunity and being efficient when you need to. Clearly we had our chances tonight to kick a bigger score, there's no question about that," Goodwin said.
"I'm not worried one bit. Our belief is still really strong in the way we play. They kicked six goals from their forward-50 stoppages, and normally in a game it's one-to-two, so that's a big differential and it's an anomaly.
"We sit here confident. Would we like to score more? Of course we would. But it wasn't a major issue. We had our chances tonight."
Melbourne has won just two of its past six games as it prepares to return to the finals for the first time since 2018, but Goodwin was pleased with his side's performance against the Bulldogs and said the Dees weren't far from their best.
"I think we're pretty close. As a footy club we're not far away. There was a lot to like tonight. We didn't get the result and I'm sure our supporters would be disappointed but there was enough in the game to indicate we're still well on track," he said.
"We're certainly not going to jump at shadows."