‘Head up and march on’ is the philosophy Ross Lyon is adhering to as he looks to lead from the front and prevent his side from getting bogged down in the wake of last week’s defeat to the Western Bulldogs.

The Saints are coming off a comprehensive 60-point loss in what was a bruising Thursday night, with a similarly “stung” Port Adelaide in sight for this coming Friday at Adelaide Oval after its own loss to Collingwood late last week.

Lyon lamented his side’s “passive” defence on against the Bulldogs - something he chalked up to as a tactical error on his and the coaches’ behalf - but affirmed the wind hadn’t been taken out of the Saints’ sails in the hunt for their third win of the year.


“They’re energetic, they’re vibrant, they feel safe. They were a bit flat and I said ‘I’ve been in deeper holes than this!’ so I think that lifted them,” Lyon said at this morning’s press conference.

“I think what you are as a leader they’ll be. Certainly with Enright, Harvey and those guys (leading the way), we’re disappointed, we’re feeling it, but we also know there’s only one way to work your way out of it.

We want to improve, right? We’re confident over the short, the medium and the long-term that we can, because that’s the job.

- Ross Lyon

The Saints have looked back on the tapes from earlier in the season in the hopes of reigniting their daring ball movement in time for Friday night, with the second half against Geelong and siren-to-siren showing against Collingwood receiving top billing.

“We’ve just dived into the education space trying to fix our ball movement. We’re pretty keen to get our energy back and we’ve had a few days off, so they’re pretty vibrant because we’re solution-focussed,” Lyon said.

“You get back to your principles and try and bring them to life. It’s a simple model. If you’re an elite professional sport you’re going to have losses. You have to identify the areas that you have to train and improve, that’s our lot.

“I don’t think we’re a 22-0 team. Obviously the ledger is 2-4, but if we get stuck on that you don’t improve, so we’re focussed on improvement and education.

“I thought we still fought on (against the Bulldogs), but we’re squarely focussed on Port. We’ve had a really good look at them, they’ll be keen to bounce back and it’s always tough over there.

“The good teams win interstate and we want to build into becoming a good team, a great team, and that’s part of the challenge.”


Lyon confirmed the Paddy Dow (bone bruising) will return from injury via the VFL this weekend alongside Matty Allison (knee).

Dow was among a number of Saints on the comeback trail to take part in a modified scratch match over the weekend, with Mason Wood (collarbone), Hunter Clark (calf) and Ben Paton (pectoral) also taking strides towards a senior recall.

“Because he had the bone bruising, basically a bruised bone sort of drops out and then it refills, so it is in a sense like a fracture,” Lyon said.

“It’s taken a fair bit of time and he’s feeling good, but we’ve got to do the right thing and set him up for success.”

Wood could be in contention to return by next week to face off against his former side, Liam Henry (hamstring) is eyeing off a return ahead of Sir Doug Nicholls Round, while Max King was more “likely than unlikely” to travel interstate this week after wrenching his knee last fortnight.