BEING dropped from the Adelaide side came as a "shock" for Bryce Gibbs, but the midfielder has revealed the outcome was on the cards after a poor individual showing in round one.
Gibbs was omitted from the team for the Crows' 12-point loss to North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night, with Cameron Ellis-Yolmen coming into the side to tag Roo Ben Cunnington.
The star Crow instead played in the SANFL for the first time since 2006 when he was a teenager, gathering 26 disposals and six clearances in an encouraging display.
It was the first time Gibbs, 30, had been dropped during his 256-game AFL career.
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"I had a conversation with Pykey (Crows coach Don Pyke) after round one about my performance, and it certainly wasn't to the level, and I accepted that," Gibbs told RSN 927.
"It was probably just my form over the first three games that was a little bit patchy and I probably wasn't playing my role to the level that was required.
"So we just spoke about that and match committee thought the right idea was to send me back to the SANFL to find that touch and form and that's how it panned out."
After gathering just 16 touches against Hawthorn in round one, Gibbs said he thought his performances had improved in rounds two and three, with the midfielder picking up 23 and 27 disposals against Sydney and Geelong respectively.
"After round one, I certainly knew I had to step up my game and performances, and the next two weeks I thought I had started to do that, lifting the bar a bit," he said.
Generally the feedback from those two games was quite positive, so personally it was a bit of a shock to get that phone call and to hear that was the path they were going to go down and that was the decision they had made.
"No-one likes getting dropped from the side and I was no different. But it was a decision I had to accept and had to move on from, and I've just got to go back and do what they ask and hopefully find myself back in the side this week, and if not this week, hopefully in the next couple of weeks."
Gibbs is hopeful of returning to the Crows team for close mate Eddie Betts' 300th AFL game against Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval on Sunday where Adelaide will look to turn around a 1-3 start to the season.