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Paul Roos impressed by the 'hardness' of Demon youngsters

Roos: Our kids have 'hardness' Melbourne coach Paul Roos is impressed by the youngsters at the Dees
Colin Garland and Nathan Jones of the Demons ® of the Demons hug after their win during the 2015 AFL Round 04 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Melbourne Demons at the MCG, Melbourne on April 24, 2015. (Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images via AFL Media)
Friday night's win will mean a lot to the improving Demons
The best thing about the young kids is the tackling (and) just their hardness
Paul Roos

PAUL ROOS believes Melbourne's decisive win over Richmond on Friday night was the most significant victory of his tenure at the club. 

The Demons coach said his side was on the way to regaining the respect of the football world after overcoming injuries to power to an upset 32-point win on a wet MCG.

Roos said the result had been driven by an unusually hard bunch of youngsters and the improving leadership of the inspirational Nathan Jones.

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The Demons showed great resilience, given they were reduced to just two fit men on the bench as Dean Kent (hamstring) and Neville Jetta (concussion) sat out the second half.

Asked if it was the most significant win of his reign, Roos said: "Yeah, I think so. We were really consistent throughout the night with our effort … and with two down in the second half, which makes it really hard, so to come out with a five-goal win against a finals team from last year is a very, very good effort."

Roos believed his team's strong showing in bad weather in a gallant 25-point loss to inform Adelaide at Adelaide Oval last week proved critical against the Tigers.

"It was almost identical conditions and we adjusted pretty quickly. That was probably a slight advantage to us. (Richmond) had come off a day in Brisbane which was pretty warm.

"To the players' credit, they adjusted a bit on the run. We just changed a couple of things that we tried to do last week and that definitely helped because we'd practiced them seven days earlier."

Roos said the chief focus for the Demons this season had been to eliminate the "drop offs" they'd endured last year, and he was reasonably pleased on that front.

"Apart from a bad second half against the Giants (in round two), we've had some consistent football. We've been able to do that in three of the four games," Roos said. "I'm just pleased they’re getting some reward for effort, and to be 2-2 is a reasonable result."

Roos was full of praise for his hard-at-it youngsters, who he believes are mature beyond their years in terms of their physical approach to the game.

WATCH: Paul Roos' full press conference here

"The best thing about the young kids is the tackling (and) just their hardness," he said. "Jesse (Hogan) took a couple of great marks, but he always brings the ball to ground, and Angus (Brayshaw laid) a couple of ripping tackles in the middle of the ground.

"They're unusual traits in a sense (for) young kids coming into AFL football. So we're really fortunate that three or four of the young guys – (Christian) Salem and (Aaron) vandenBerg as well – have got natural defensive traits."

The coach declared Jones, who gathered 25 possessions (14 contested), had gone to another level with his captaincy and was a better player than he was when he won the club best and fairest last year.

"That's as good a game as I've seen him play," Roos said of his captain.

Kent's hamstring injury was so severe he was on crutches post-match, but Roos is hopeful it would require four to six weeks' recovery rather than a 10-12 weeks.

"It's sad because I thought he really turned the game for us," Roos said of Kent. "We were struggling early and he was the one out of all of our players who was hunting and chasing and tackling."

Roos said Jetta would not play next week and that the club would take a conservative approach given his history of concussion.

The coach said he is now looking forward to "a tough patch" of MCG clashes with heavyweights Fremantle, Sydney and Hawthorn.