WITH the club suits back in the wardrobe, Melbourne hopes the successful appeal of Jack Viney's rough conduct charge can pave the way for an on-field triumph.
On Saturday night they face the Western Bulldogs on their only excursion to the MCG this season.
In the aftermath of the verdict, both Viney and captain Jack Grimes opened up on the draining influence of a week spent at AFL House.
The man at the centre of the conflict said the last few days had been "really stressful".
"I wouldn't say it was one of the toughest moments ... but it was fatiguing and added an extra challenge for my preparation," Viney told the club's website.
For Grimes, the appeal victory hopefully meant a return to normality.
"It was amazing to see how big news it was," Grimes said.
"Coming to the club was almost an escape from it."
The Melbourne co-captain counted himself within the overwhelming number of footy fans bemoaning the loss of toughness from the game.
"To see him get off, it's restored a lot of people's faith as to where the game is heading."
"Viney plays hard, he plays tough and that's the way footy should be."
Somewhat lost in the debate was the importance of Viney to Melbourne's young midfield.
The 20-year-old has had at least 20 touches in his last four matches, backed up by a strong tackle and inside-50 count.
But if the Viney saga has been tough for the club, at least this weekend they have the inside word from former Bulldog Daniel Cross.
And like former Crow Bernie Vince did last week, Grimes said the "intense" ex-Bulldog burned to taste success against his old side.
In their pursuit for their back-to-back wins since 2011, Grimes said a sharp opening would be the focus, learning from a sluggish start after their last win over Carlton.
"We haven't responded well in the past, coming off wins," he said.
"Against Gold Coast our intensity wasn't there ... we started the game so poorly, we were lucky to be in the game."
Veteran Bulldog Matthew Boyd said despite three straight losses his side was not giving up on the year.
"We think we're playing pretty decently for patches of the games ... it's just a concentration thing, that 15-20 minutes of footy is costing us," he said.
Grimes said he had confidence in Neville Jetta going to in-form Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus after his shut-down job on Eddie Betts last week.
Melbourne has bolstered its defence by recalling Colin Garland while the Bulldogs have made three changes.
Daniel Giansiracusa, Jason Tutt, Fletcher Roberts come into the Brendan McCartney's team.