Matthew Nicks addresses players during the match between Adelaide and Richmond at Adelaide Oval in round 13, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE coach Matthew Nicks is confident his under-performing outfit will rise to the occasion against flag favourites Sydney.

Consecutive losses to fellow bottom-half sides Hawthorn and Richmond have left the Crows' finals hopes in tatters before next week's mid-season bye.

But Nicks insists there is still plenty to play for against the Swans at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

"We're up against the best team in the competition but we know what we need to bring - it's whether we actually bring it on the day," Nicks told reporters on Wednesday.

"We've got a few soldiers back possibly this week ... that brings a little bit of confidence and belief as well.

"We've put our heads down and gone to work ... and when you've got a group like we do you have confidence that they will bring it.

"We didn't quite get to where we needed last week (in an eight-point loss to Richmond) but when you come up against the best we know we're going to lift."


Veteran Adelaide forward Taylor Walker (back) and attacking livewire Izak Rankine (hamstring) are both a chance to return from injuries against Sydney.

The pair face fitness tests, with Nicks hopeful they will be cleared to add firepower in the Crows' front half.

Nicks said last round's debutant Billy Dowling will retain his spot in the side, but warned he could yet swing the axe at selection.

"In a team environment when the team's not performing well, then certain parts of that come under stress," Nicks said.

"Part of that is some of our individuals are under pressure because we're just looking for performance that's going to get us in the fight, and that hasn't changed.

"That's been there for the last two or three weeks; there's been players under pressure where we need a little bit more from them."


Nicks had been due to fall off-contract at the end of the season but in March was given a two-year extension until the end of 2026.

Adelaide chairman John Olsen last week said he had "no issue" with the extension despite the club's poor performances.

Nicks, in his fifth season as coach and with 33 wins from 96 games, feels he still has strong backing from the club hierarchy, including Crows CEO Tim Silvers.


"I've got a lot of really good support around me and that's where I'm extremely lucky to have the job I've got, the position I'm in and the footy club behind me," Nicks said.

"I feel that support, especially in times like this where we are under pressure.

"I'm talking about the likes of John Olsen and Tim Silvers, who are really there for me at the moment."