MELBOURNE skipper Nathan Jones says the talk around Jesse Hogan's contract has become "a bit of a circus" and he hopes putting negotiations on hold until the end of the season will allow the young forward to let his football do the talking.
The 20-year-old's management told Melbourne last Tuesday Hogan didn't want to discuss a contract extension this season given there are still two years remaining on his current deal.
Melbourne supported his decision and Jones said it made sense.
"He's two years out from even being out of contract, so I think for him, it's just about getting out there and playing some good footy," Jones said.
"We haven’t seen the amount of scrutiny he’s copped with contracts with any other player in the competition, so it’s probably uncharted ground really.
"For him, it’s best for his frame of mind to be able to wipe it away and just concentrate on footy."
Jones said Saturday's win over Port Adelaide was just another signal the club was heading in the right direction and Hogan was a key part of the future being built.
"There are some really exciting signs at our football club. He’s a really integral part [of our future]. I’m hoping it will die down and he’ll be able to let his footy do the talking," Jones said.
Another important player in the club's future is Angus Brayshaw, who suffered a knee injury in the opening five seconds of the game against Port Adelaide.
He played no further part against the Power and Jones said he felt like most Melbourne supporters watching the game on TV when he saw the youngster on the ground.
"I panicked a little bit, I won't lie. He's like a little brother to me so it probably means even more," Jones said.
"But I spoke to him on the phone last night, and everyone sort of thinks the worst, but he'll have an assessment tomorrow I think.
"By all reports it's only a slight medial strain. It shouldn't be too significant in terms of the amount of footy he'll miss. Hopefully it'll speed up that recovery with how well he looks after it.”
Jones said he was impressed with the young brigade including Aaron vandenBerg, Jack Viney and Dean Kent, who were particularly impressive in the second half, and the defensive side of the team's game.
Jones said he would return next Sunday against the Western Bulldogs alongside last year's best and fairest winner Bernie Vince.
He said Heritier Lumumba was on track to play in the third NAB Challenge game, while Christian Petracca would need some football under his belt before being considered for selection.
While Jones said the signs were really positive he has been around long enough to ensure he didn't get carried away.
"Keep it in perspective," Jones said.