Max King at St Kilda training on April 11, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ROSS Lyon is resigned to losing key forward Max King for St Kilda's clash with the Western Bulldogs as the two clubs struggle to find their way into the season.

The Saints coach said before Tuesday morning training that he isn't buying the negative narrative around the Bulldogs ahead of Thursday night's clash at Marvel Stadium.

While King was cleared of major knee damage following last weekend's one-point loss to Greater Western Sydney, Lyon was pessimistic about his availability for this week.

"It's probably slim - more unlikely than likely. No structural damage - he's going to move today," Lyon said.

"But he'd have to give me confidence that he's right to go.

"We'd love him to play, but if he doesn't (Anthony) Caminiti showed in the second half he's in really good form, Tim Membrey's in pretty good nick.

"We're more than capable."


The Saints are coming off a five-day break, leaving Lyon unsure about how many changes they will make and whether they'll recall defender Dougal Howard for the Bulldogs' tall forward line.

What Lyon is certain about is Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge, calling him "clearly great at what he does".

"If you really drill in, they're really capable," Lyon said.


"Sometimes you just have moments, particularly early in the season, where you're trying to really - there's that word - 'button down'.

"It's like us - is it half-full or half-empty? We're both around the mark.

"I'm not really here to talk about the Bulldogs, but I do hear the noise ... they're getting terrorised."

The Saints and Bulldogs have 2-3 records, with St Kilda coming off their narrow Gather Round win over Richmond and then a comeback against the Giants that just fell short.

While the Bulldogs are seen to be in strife, Lyon does not buy emotion playing a part in Thursday's clash, noting Collingwood were also under scrutiny when his team beat them in round three.

The emotion most prevalent at Moorabbin at the moment is frustration as the Saints try to build momentum.

Ross Lyon during St Kilda's win over Richmond in round four, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"There couldn't be any more noise around the Bulldogs this week than there was around the 'Pies - emotion doesn't get it done," he said.

"In the end it's hard work and system, capability and the ability to get it done longer than the opposition.

"We know we never give up, but we're disappointed with our inconsistency - frustrated, probably.

"We're all a little bit frustrated, but I think there are a number of teams in that same boat."