MELBOURNE coach Paul Roos hopes the 24-point win over Geelong can be the catalyst for a team-oriented approach that has been lacking at the Demons in this era.
Agreeing the win was the best during his time as Demons coach, Roos said he hoped the result would instill belief in a team that had not defeated Geelong at Simonds Stadium since round 20, 2005 and not beaten the Cats since 2006.
That it came just a week after the Demons' disastrous loss to St Kilda when they conceded the lead with less than a minute remaining made it even more meritorious.
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"For us to bounce back today, after a bad 41 seconds last week, hopefully this gives belief to the players that we are on the right track and heading in the right direction," Roos said.
“We hope this might be the catalyst for some real belief in what we’re trying to do as players and coaches.”
Roos praised Jack Viney's effort to restrict Cats skipper Joel Selwood to just 16 touches while gaining 27 disposals himself but said it was the midfield's effort overall that made the difference.
"Their ability to keep cracking in for 120 minutes … at crucial times when they got back into it there was a tackle or a tough contested ball that they won and we started to get the ball forward, so that group was terrific today," Roos said.
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Bernie Vince, Nathan Jones and Viney had 101 disposals and eight centre clearances between them to dominate the midfield battle. They had great support from Max Gawn, particularly in the first half, Dom Tyson and Angus Brayshaw.
"Max Gawn was fantastic. I thought our bigs were really, really significant, both within the contest and forward of the ball," Roos said.
The Demons scored more than 100 points for the third time this season with the Demon forwards halving aerial contests and bringing the ball to ground.
The talls competitive work allowed Jeff Garlett to kick four goals and Alex Neal- Bullen to kick three.
They also stopped the Cats’ defenders from rebounding after intercept marks and moving the ball forward from defence.
Roos gave Jeremy Howe and Chris Dawes credit, saying that despite their low possession rate in the first half they were important contributors because they competed in the air.
"That probably typified the group. They came to play today and they came to play for the team and not just for themselves," Roos said.
"And hopefully that is the next step for us that we start thinking about our team rather than ourselves individually."
Roos has won eight games since taking over as Melbourne coach at the start of 2014. He said that defeating Geelong on their home deck in Corey Enright's 300th game was his best win as the Demons’ coach.