Jack Viney and Simon Goodwin after Melbourne's win over Hawthorn at the MCG in round 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE has a top-four spot in the bag, but coach Simon Goodwin says they're not stopping there, warning the 2021 premiers are "hungry" for more.

The Demons locked up a double chance in September with Sunday's 27-point win over Hawthorn, also keeping the door ajar for a top-two finish and home qualifying final.

With Bayley Fritsch (foot) expected back for next week's round 24 clash with Sydney and Tom McDonald (ankle) now with two VFL matches under his belt, Goodwin says the Dees are on the rise.

DEMONS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats

It's the third season in succession they've finished the home and away matches in the top four.

"It's always good to lock something away," Goodwin said.

"That's just half of where we want to go. Once again, we've locked away a top four spot which is fantastic for our supporters and big for our footy club, but we're not stopping there.

"We want more. We're hungry.

"We're going to keep looking for ways to get better."


Melbourne overcame the pesky Hawks at the MCG, conceding just five goals after quarter-time and wearing down Sam Mitchell's team with 61 inside 50s to 38.

Goodwin was delighted with their defensive effort, highlighting the work of Jake Lever, who finished with 19 disposals that included 10 intercepts.


He said Melbourne would not be resting anyone against the Swans, regardless of whether their finishing position was determined prior to bounce down.

"Now with the pre-finals bye it becomes a bit of an irrelevant conversation," he said.

"We want to make sure we're playing great footy and then we can reassess when the new season (finals) begins.

"We're not looking too far ahead. We'll manage our players and look at them during the week and make sure they're fit and healthy, but we certainly won't be resting players unless they're forced to rest."


Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell was philosophical about the result, saying a lot had to go right for his side to trouble the Demons following the loss of Chad Wingard and Mitch Lewis to injury and the late withdrawal of red-hot midfielder Jai Newcombe to hamstring tightness.

"They were just a bit too good for us in the end," Mitchell said.

"We knew avenues to goal were going to be a challenge for us today.

"Without Chad and Mitch we knew something different was going to have to happen and we just didn't have enough go right often enough."


Mitchell said he expected Newcombe to be fine for the Hawks' final round against Fremantle.