MELBOURNE needs to bring back its tenacious side with coach Simon Goodwin admitting that the Demons haven’t been tough enough in recent weeks.

The 10th-placed Demons take on St Kilda on Sunday in a massive clash that will be crucial to their finals hopes.

"We need to get that ferocity back in our footy club – the right want for the contest and desire to pressure the opposition," Goodwin said on Friday.

"We built a brand around our contested ball and that certainly hasn't been to the level (it needs to be)."

The Demons' aggressive game style was a key factor in their impressive first half to the season, but Goodwin conceded that it may have led to the various undisciplined acts that have plagued their year.

Jesse Hogan, Jordan Lewis, Tomas Bugg and Bernie Vince (twice) have all been suspended this season, hurting the side's continuity throughout the year.

"Our pressure's been high, our contested ball has been high, and we've been a really ferocious team around the contest," he said.

"With that has come some undisciplined acts, we understand that."

A drop in ferocity in recent weeks has seen the Dees fall into a form slump, losing three of their past four games.

But with a promising draw (St Kilda, Brisbane Lions and Collingwood) to finish the season, Goodwin is confident the Demons can reach the finals for the first time since 2006.

"This is the first time this club's been in this position for a long time and we're looking for people to step up and grow and get better and look forward to these opportunities," Goodwin said.

The first step in the Demons' charge to finals is Sunday's must-win clash against the Saints.

"This is an opportunity for this footy club to grow and develop and get better and look forward to these opportunities and the expectation that comes with it," he said.

"We're embracing that, we're looking forward to it, and come the MCG on Sunday I think we'll see a pretty ferocious Melbourne team."

The Demons have been criticised for their inability to score, after failing to reach 100 points in their last seven matches, but Goodwin expects his forward line to jell soon.

"Without question our connection around the ball needs to be a little bit better," Goodwin said.

"We think we’re going start connecting better, but our contest needs to be at the level first and foremost for that to take place."