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Richo calls on fans to back 'hurting' Saints

Richardson: 'We were beaten badly' St Kilda coach Alan Richardson admits the Saints were comprehensively outplayed in all departments as they slumped to their third straight loss
The most important message to the fans is our players need their support
Alan Richardson

ST KILDA coach Alan Richardson has called on fans to back a "hurting" Saints outfit after a third consecutive pummelling, this time at the hands of Geelong by 47 points.

And for the third week in succession they failed to kick more than seven goals – as low as any total for the entire 2017 campaign.

After 19,324 fans showed up for last week's home drubbing to Adelaide, Richardson said the club needed the fans' backing ahead of a clash with Greater Western Sydney.

SAINTS GO DOWN: Full match coverage and stats

"The most important message to the fans is our players need their support. We, like them are hurting," Richardson said post-match.

"We're not playing the sort of footy that they'd want us to play and we're going to work our backsides off as a footy club and a playing group to regain that form."

Richardson conceded too many star players found themselves out of form to start the season.

"We've got too many out of form, there's no doubt about that," he said.

"There'll be different reasons. If you looked at last week (against Adelaide), some of the contest stuff was OK but our ball use was deplorable.

WATCH: Alan Richardson's full post-match media conference

"We've got a few too many who aren't at their best, players that I rate that have done some pretty good work at this level.

"It never works by talking about it, I'm going to sound like a broken record, it'll be on the training track.

"I'm not saying we've got plenty of time to turn it around, we need to turn things around quickly."

Leaders Jack Newnes (16 disposals) and Seb Ross (20 disposals) were among St Kilda players to underperform against the Cats.

And for a third consecutive week – the Saints managed more behinds that goals, highlighted by four set-shot misses in the space of eight minutes.

It takes their tally to 19.40 since round two.

"It's a challenge when you don't take your opportunities, there's no doubt about that," Richardson said.

"This is a hard place to win games of footy. Geelong are really hard to beat down here and when you work hard and get opportunities you need to make the most of them, that was frustrating."

St Kilda's VFL-affiliate Sandringham won the curtain-raiser against Geelong and Richardson forecasted more change at the selection table.

"We've made nine changes in two weeks, we'll continue to look at our team to try and find guys that are in form," he said.
"We'll challenge blokes who aren't in form, we'll challenge blokes who aren't in form to regain form, that's our job."

Forward Tim Membrey, who missed for a second week for a knee setback, will come into contention for a recall.

"He's done a bit of work that suggests he's a chance but he's got a fair bit still to do."

The Saints play the Giants on Saturday afternoon at Etihad Stadium.