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We're free under Craig, says Trengove

Jack Trengove says Melbourne is playing with more freedom under Neil Craig - ${keywords}
Jack Trengove says Melbourne is playing with more freedom under Neil Craig

MELBOURNE players are performing with a new freedom under interim coach Neil Craig, co-captain Jack Trengove says. 

He said the former Adelaide coach had brought a freer playing style to the team after 18 months under Mark Neeld. 

"Coming from Neeldy, he probably took the more defensive approach and really tried to put a strangle on the game, and there's no doubt we've learnt some great principles from that, which we showed on the weekend as well," Trengove said on SEN radio. 

"Craigy's probably brought more of a freedom and when we have the ball in our hands, really trying to test the opposition offensively and make them defend us. 

"There's no doubt this year we've done a lot of chasing tail and it's now our turn when the ball gets in our hands to really make them defend us. 

"That's probably what Craigy's brought." 

Trengove said "the freshness of a new voice" could have been behind the lift in performance at the weekend that led to a three-point win over the Western Bulldogs, but conceded it was up to the players "to maintain that and keep it going forward". 

He also said teammates believed Jack Watts had the capability to consistently play the way he did against the Bulldogs. 

The often-maligned former No.1 draft pick was crucial in the narrow win over the Dogs, with four goals and a key role in defence when the game was up for grabs. 

Trengove said the Demons hoped Watts could build on his performance. 

"Wattsy did have a great game; it was probably one of his best all-round games or four-quarter efforts. 

"Hopefully he can just keep building on that. All the players and his teammates know he's capable of it; it's just a matter of doing it more consistently, which I'm sure he will." 

Jennifer Phelan is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow her on Twitter @AFL_JenPhelan.