Max Gawn after Melbourne's loss to Fremantle in R12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

SIMON Goodwin has slammed his side's performance as "completely unacceptable", as Melbourne lost to Fremantle by 92 points in Alice Springs on Sunday afternoon. 

It's the biggest ever loss the Dees have suffered under Goodwin, who first took the reins in 2017.

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"Obviously, that's about as bad a performance as you can get. One we certainly won't tolerate. There's inconsistencies in our game, and that trend's been there for a little while now," Goodwin said.

"We understand there's elements within our method that aren't right. 

"But inconsistencies, not only from week-to-week, are concerning, and we'll look into it the why of it, because that performance is clearly, completely unacceptable from where we want to be as a team. I know our supporters want more."


While the Demons kicked a quick two goals to open the match, the warning signs were there as they coughed up the football with alarming regularity, particularly when coming out of defence.

"There were probably more some issues in terms of our execution early in the game. We got off to a pretty good start, but we turned the ball over in the back half of the ground at an extraordinarily high rate, and that put us under enormous pressure and then that flowed onto more issues," Goodwin said.

"We started to lose around contest and clearance, and we got obliterated in every phase, to be honest, but it just flowed as the game unfolded. Clearly, our contest was poor, our work-rate was poor and our ability to deliver pressure was poor. 

"They're all things we've got to work on and you put that together with our ball use, and it's just nowhere near the level it needs to be. And you get the performance you get against – you got to give Freo credit, they played a really impressive, intense game with high pressure and executed with the ball incredibly well."


Goodwin said Lachie Hunter was subbed off with a tight calf and would require scans. 

Justin Longmuir was quietly pleased with his side's outstanding effort, recording 141 points, its highest score since the start of 2019.

"The game was won on contest and pressure. I thought our midfielders got their hands dirty after a bit of a sluggish start, I thought our centre bounce was elite all day," Longmuir said.

"I thought the talls all over the ground had an influence, but in particular, our rucks against a great player competed really well. 

"Probably most pleased with the way we pressured them, it was a real focus going into the game, to get the ball to the ground and play a ground-ball game and bring that pressure, and that set up so many opportunities for us to turn possessions … into good positions for us to score."


The combined forces of Sean Darcy and Luke Jackson took on the might of Max Gawn, after much external discussion about the merits of playing both big men.

"I don't really care what everyone else thinks. If others want to be sensationalist and be the first to say it's not working, the fact is, last year when both played and had continuity, it worked," Longmuir said.

"We haven't had that continuity this year. As much as everyone thinks you can just click your fingers and everything falls into place, it takes a little while for Luke to find his way down forward and be comfortable playing that role again, it doesn't happen in one week.

"I think we saw today what our three key forwards can do if they have that continuity. I thought they were all dangerous – Sean's only in his second game back, and he's going to get better as well. But I thought he covered the ground really well and was strong in the ruck."