Max Gawn after the round 12 match between Melbourne and Fremantle at TIO Traeger Park, June 2, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE captain Max Gawn says only on-field actions can reignite his struggling side's premiership pursuit.

The Demons (7-5) have dropped three of their past four matches, sliding to 10th spot on the ladder ahead of the King's Birthday showdown with Collingwood at the MCG.

And they are in dire need of a lift after a 92-point thrashing from Fremantle last week raised further questions over their finals credentials.

It followed poor performances against the Brisbane Lions (round six) and West Coast (round 11), as well as a narrow loss to Carlton (round 10).

"It is a disappointing loss and we've had three of them in the last six or seven weeks," Gawn said on Wednesday.


"They're games that if we dig down and look at our culture and our last five years, we don't think it's us.

"But when you have three in seven weeks, maybe it is. There's some pretty honest truths that we've got to face."

Melbourne has coughed up an average of 101 points a game in its four losses over the past seven rounds.

The 141 points conceded to Fremantle in Alice Springs was the highest tally of Simon Goodwin's eight seasons in charge.

"We think we're one of the best defensive teams, but in the last seven weeks we're not," Gawn said.

The Demons look dejected after the round 12 match between Melbourne and Fremantle at TIO Traeger Park, June 2, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"The proof is right there in the pudding. If we want to get back to it, we've got to go out and do it."

Gawn echoed Goodwin's assessment the Demons need to find solutions to their "inconsistencies" on the field.

"We're not the team we want to be," he said.

"I've stood here a few times this year defending our culture and I'll stand here again and defend our culture.

"It's where it needs to be off the field, we're just not quite there on the field currently. It's something we're searching for."

Melbourne will take on Collingwood in the 10th annual Big Freeze match, raising money for FightMND to fund research into a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.

Brianna Davey, Darcy Moore, Max Gawn, Ben Daniher and Kate Hore during a Big Freeze media opportunity on June 5, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Former Demons coach Neale Daniher, who was diagnosed with MND in 2013, paid the Demons a visit this week.

"With the week that we've had you can get in your own head and talk a lot, and there's a lot of talk within our four walls about how we're going to fix what went on on the weekend," Gawn said.

"But in the end it's what Neale says, it's action (that counts). It really does speak true this week and that's what we have to do."