Senior coach Ross Lyon has implored the Saints on-field and in the aisles to "stick together" after the club registered its eighth loss of the season today against the Demons.

Lyon lamented Saints' poor ball use and decision-making, while admitting they fell down defensively and were beaten by the Dees' run on the outside.


"I feel for our fans and our members, and I just said to our players we need to stick together," Lyon said.

"We've really fallen away a bit, so we've got to go away and assess, keep a cool head, take the heat that comes and stay true to working hard and keeping a safe environment for the players."

The Saints have lost six of their last seven matches, with the only relief in that run coming against North Melbourne.

"We just got annihilated in the midfield (by the Dockers after half-time), so you can prosecute your own case, but we understand it was about ground position and no supply," Lyon said.

"Hawthorn the week before was about chipping about, not over-using (the ball) and not going to the contest.

"(Against Narrm) we were probably guilty of going to the contest too early."

Lyon noted poor ball use, decision-making and conversion of forward-50 possessions into scores were also among the crucial shortcomings against the Demons, who smashed the Saints with their outside run.

His side conceded a league-best average of 71.6 points a game last season, but that figure has risen to 78.8 - ranked eighth - this year. It comes with the Saints still ranked in the bottom five for points scored, at a rate of just 71.3 a game.

"(Team defence) is something we were really good at last year (but it has) really fallen away," Lyon said.

"We just had a chat about it with the coaches ... we'll focus on some things that we know we can do well quickly, and then continue to work on the ball use and try to build out of midfield."

Lyon forecast a possible return for Brad Crouch in the clash with West Coast in round 12, after the experienced midfielder racked up 30 disposals for Sandringham in the VFL on Sunday.

Crouch has not played at senior level since hurting a knee in March.

"He's no silver bullet, but it would help," Lyon said.