A much-needed win in the back pocket over West Coast has kept St Kilda’s September dream alive, but Brett Ratten isn’t looking too far down the road as a potential place in finals hangs in the balance.

Spearheaded by a maiden 40-disposal haul by Jack Steele and a five-goal statement from Dan Butler, the travelling Saints accounted for the Eagles by 28 points in unusually boggy conditions at a well-worn Optus Stadium to secure its second win post-bye.

Mustering a response after a disappointing month was front of mind for the Saints this week, with an honest post-game review following their most recent loss to the Western Bulldogs culminating in Sunday’s win interstate.

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RD19 | 'As a group it was a good step forward': Ratten post-match

Watch St Kilda's press conference after round 19's match against West Coast

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The Saints (ninth) sit outside the top-eight on percentage with matches against Hawthorn, Geelong, Brisbane and Sydney to come.

“It was pleasing to see our response, especially early in the game,” Ratten said.

“I just thought our pressure and the contest was really pleasing. Our ability to halve contests at times… you’re going to get beaten and you can’t win everything, but I thought some of the efforts of individuals to put their body on the line was first-class.

“We didn’t really get our reward for how much footy we got inside-50 in the first quarter and really outside of the third (quarter) I thought we were in front.

Round 19 v West Coast

Round 19 v West Coast

“The third quarter was overuse, couldn’t gain any ground and West Coast, to their credit, lifted the pressure and we got stuck there.

“We were under the pump, had to fight and scrap and that was the pleasing part (to get it done). As a group it was a good step forward, but we’ve got a bit of work to do, there’s no doubt about it.

“We’re just trying to get our own form heading the right way and today was a good step.”

The Saints were buoyed by the efforts of Steele and Butler throughout the game, but it was 14-gamer Marcus Windhager who had an equally important say on the contest.

The 19-year-old kept Eagles gun Tim Kelly to just four touches for the game in a diligent tagging role, gathering 23 touches and a game-high 523 metres gained of his own.

“We probably had from the top, our skipper lead the way, and then had our youngest player in the team (in Marcus) deliver as well,” Ratten said.

"For Marcus to do that so early in his career is really pleasing. He’s done some really good roles for us – not (only) going to players but sometimes playing positional roles in games as well – and has had a big impact in his first year.

"When you do that you need help as well, and I thought it was the support Marcus got from the team, but also Marcus himself.

His application to the role was first-class. Kelly is a great player and that's why we put time into him.

- Brett Ratten

“Butler was in that category and was spoken to about lifting his output in games and how he goes about it.

“It’s pleasing when players respond and have been down a little bit, and they find a way to get into the game can create something out of nothing.”

St Kilda lost Jack Billings to back spasms and disc-related pain in the opening term, while Jade Gresham was iced up in the final minutes after copping a knock to his knee.

The Saints will consider the availability of Dan Hannebery and Jack Bytel for next week following influential outings in the VFL, while Zak Jones, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Tom Highmore and Darragh Joyce all impacted despite the final-quarter blowout.