Ben Keays celebrates with fans after Adelaide's win over Carlton at Marvel Stadium in R5, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE'S players, after tossing the "monkey off the back" with an upset win over Carlton, hope they've eased the pressure on coach Matthew Nicks.

Nicks, who was re-signed after round one until the end of 2026, and his Crows endured a rugged 0-4 start to the season.

But Adelaide defender Max Michalanney says Saturday's two-point away triumph over previously unbeaten Carlton highlights the coach's acumen.

"It was good to get the result for him," Michalanney told reporters on Monday.

"He has done a mountain of work over the pre-season and he's taught us all the things and we just really need to listen to him.

"We did that on the weekend, we trusted in what he was saying and the result came off the back of that."


The Crows kicked the last three goals of the Marvel Stadium game to pinch victory, with Michalanney labelling the win as doubly important.

"It's a bit of a monkey off the back, in a way," he said.

"Starting the year 0-4 is not ideal, it's not what we come here to do.

"So to finally get a good win over an undefeated side in Carlton, we were over the moon with it.

"It's really exciting for a team like ourselves, coming off the back of last year where we weren't able to win games on the road and those close games.

"To finally tick both of those boxes on the weekend, it was great."


The Crows host ninth-placed Essendon (three wins, two losses) on Friday night at Adelaide Oval, with Michalanney stressing the importance of building momentum after the breakthrough win. 

"We can take a lot of confidence out of how we performed on the weekend," he said.

"We all got our roles done and performed in big moments so we can take that in to Friday night against another massive club in Essendon.

"The mids and forwards, they were all connected which, I guess, lacked a little bit in the first four rounds.

"So it was great to see the form from last year really come back through, where we were one of the better offences throughout the competition - and we saw that against Carlton."