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Don't go with the flow, Demons: Gawn

Paddy's whack, mental demons, Saint Jordan The Footy Feed team with all the latest news

MELBOURNE'S leaders need to stand up and take charge during games when the team has lost momentum, ruckman Max Gawn says.

The Demons have struggled at times this season to wrestle back momentum and have allowed teams to get a run-on of goals.

Last Sunday, Hawthorn kicked 15 goals to one after the first term, with the Demons unable to stop the onslaught. 

Gawn said it was incumbent on the more experienced players in the side to show more leadership on the field in those situations.

"We're struggling a little bit with stopping momentum," Gawn admitted to reporters on Thursday morning.

"We're good when we've got it, so there's a few things we're learning from the Hawthorn game, even the Brisbane and Geelong game at the start of the year, where we could have done a lot better.

"Obviously a message from a coach to a runner can take upwards of five minutes sometimes by the time they get it out there.

"Myself, Nathan (Jones) and Jordan (Lewis), the three leaders that were out there, plus a couple of other young leaders, need to recognise that as quickly as we can, and we probably haven't done that early on this year.

"Hopefully Richmond don't get a bit of a run-on, but if they do, there's a good chance for us to act on and show good learnings from this week."

The loss to the Hawks also raised questions over the Demons' mental toughness, a critical area of improvement if they are to be any chance of beating premiers Richmond next Tuesday at the annual Anzac Day Eve clash.

"It was probably our key finding out of Hawthorn," Gawn said.

"Conditions were bad and mentally they got on top of us throughout the whole game. The mental toughness and resilience isn't probably something we can show over just one week, it's going to be something we need to prove over the next five or six."

The Demons trained on Thursday morning at Gosch's Paddock, with Dom Tyson likely to return after illness.

Speedster Jayden Hunt could earn a recall after a best-afield performance for Casey in the VFL, while

With around 85,000 fans expected to flock to the MCG for the annual clash, Gawn said the players felt an extra spark ahead of the occasion given the clubs' fiery history.

"I've got a couple of melee fines in Richmond games dating back about five, six years,"

"It's a great game, upwards of about 85,000 fans this week we hope, so usually a few players can get a little bit tense for that sort of crowd and the occasion. I think it's relatively in good spirit though."