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Giant challenge awaits

Tim Membrey could make his return against the Giants on Saturday. Senior coach Alan Richardson spoke to the media ahead of our Round 5 match against GWS at Etihad Stadium (Thursday 19 April, 2018)

Alan Richardson knows his side faces a massive task against the in-form team of the competition in the Giants, but he believes with 22 strong contributors, the Saints’ best footy can challenge anyone.

The Saints ran out 23-point winners last time the two clubs met at Etihad Stadium, but the senior coach admitted that 2018 hasn’t started well.

“We know that we’ve been below our best,” Richardson told reporters at RSEA Park on Thursday.

“We’ve got a few too many down on form, but if we can get close to 22 strong contributors, then we’re going to give ourselves a chance.”

Richardson has full confidence in the list and knows the Saints’ best footy can challenge anyone, as evidenced against the Giants last year.

“We had a really good result against them last year, and I think that would give the team some belief coming into Saturday.”

But the Saints are under no illusions about what the Giants will bring to the table: a potent mixture of youth, aggression, slick ball use and high scoring ability.

“We know that they’re an outstanding opposition. They’re a strong list with a lot of depth,” Richardson said.

The Saints have been hit hard by injury, particularly in the forward line, but Tim Membrey trained strongly at the main session on Thursday and looks likely to return.

The addition of Membrey back into the forward line would add much-needed quality in front of goal, as well as take some pressure off last week’s lone tall forward in Paddy McCartin.

“Tim is a really important player for us, so we’ll give him every opportunity to come up,” he said.

Richardson’s immediate focus remains firmly set on working players back into the form that saw his side topple GWS last year.