Jimmy Webster during the AAMI Community Series match between North Melbourne and St Kilda. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA coach Ross Lyon has conceded Jimmy Webster will "pay a price" for his "unacceptable" in-play hit on North Melbourne’s Jy Simpkin at Moorabbin on Sunday.

Lyon told AFL.com.au he had an early Monday morning catch-up with Webster in Brighton.

"I do a lot of one on ones, and we were booked in for 9am this morning … it is a period of extreme stress for both lads, both clubs, both families," Lyon said.

"I was just checking in. He obviously didn’t sleep, he was upset, he is remorseful, and we will be putting out a statement (soon).

"Obviously I’m there to support Jimmy under pressure, that’s my role, and I want to, because he has been a great servant of the club, hasn’t missed a beat all pre-season and from my end, it was really out of character.

"I thought (Saints assistant coach) Corey Enright summed it up really well, in that it was a split-second decision. He wouldn’t have meant what he did, but it’s happened and he will need to own it.


"There is real concern for Jy, and in the current environment coming a week after Sam Powell-Pepper (who received a four-week ban for a hit on Mark Keane), we understand it is going to be a significant ban and as a coach you don’t want to lose one of your really good players, but you’ve got to pay a price and he understands that.

"The bottom line is it was an unacceptable action on a footy field."

Lyon said Webster was stressed over the incident and had attempted to make contact with Simpkin.

"I’ve had to come around - I was a bit more gladiatoral (when I played), it was a brutal environment, and violent, and we had coaches encourage that in our day," he said.

"Now, split-second decisions, it has never been harder. I'm really concerned for Jy, I didn't like it for Jy, there is no joy, and no joy for Jimmy. My concern is for both boys. No winners.


"He (Jimmy) will pay the price, we will support him. He is really stressed, he didn’t sleep, he's reached out to Jy twice."

The Saints later released a statement from Webster where he expressed his remorse.

"I deeply regret my actions in yesterday's game. I've reached out to Jy and cannot understate my remorse," Webster said.

"My thoughts are with Jy and his family, and I hope he has a speedy and successful recovery. I fully recognise the importance of protecting players' heads and in this instance, I failed to meet that much-needed standard. I will present to the Tribunal and understand there will be consequences for my actions."

Saints footy boss David Misson said the club would accept the Tribunal outcome.

"As a football club we are committed to doing everything possible to minimise risk and harm to players, particularly when it comes to the head," he said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with Jy Simpkin and his family, and we hope to see him return to play soon.

"While it was out of character for Jimmy - who has proven to be a fair and honest player throughout his 10+ year career - that does not excuse the action, which has no place in our game.

"Our focus now is to support Jimmy through the process, and we will respectfully accept the outcome of the Tribunal."