Fear of losing driving Crows’ poor form: Nicks

Monday marked exactly one calendar year since the Adelaide Crows won their last game of football, and coach Matthew Nicks believes the pressure of that victory drought is partly to blame for his side's dismal performances.

The Crows were smacked by North Melbourne on the weekend in one of, if not the worst display by any side this season. It was their ninth consecutive loss for 2020 and their 12th on the run since beating St Kilda in round 20 last year.

Nicks conceded the Crows did not perform to AFL standard against the Kangaroos and that the pressure of looking for their first win in a long time was causing them to not stick to their gameplan.

Coach Matthew Nicks was disappointed with the Crows’ performance. Credit:Getty Images

"It's reality, we weren't of the [AFL ] standard on the weekend," Nicks said. "What it looked like was 18 individuals running around trying hard but doing it on their own."

He said the playing group and coaches on Sunday discussed at length not letting the run of losses leave a mental scar on the group.

"That's the mental strength we are asking our guys to have, to stick through it," Nicks said.

"It was quite a long discussion, really open and honest, and what it comes back to is the ability to communicate, to stay strong in those pressure moments.

"I think it [the reason for not adhering to the gameplan] is pressure. When you get under pressure and … it does build when you're not getting the results you're after, what you can find is players try harder but in the wrong areas.

"We've got to be bigger than that … we have got to back the system that we're working to. System, style of play, how you defend your front half, how you compete in your forward 50, there's some we can train and areas we are struggling to get done at the moment."

The coach said Taylor Walker (illness) needed to get through training to be declared a starter for Wednesday's game against Melbourne. He said the same for young forward Darcy Fogarty (shoulder) who has not played since round three.

Source: Read Full Article