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Saints growing in confidence after Demons belting

Richo elated for ex-Demon Alan Richardson heaped praised on St Kilda recruit Dean Kent after a 'big week' leading up to facing his former side

THE BELIEF is flowing through St Kilda.

After recording only four wins for the entirety of last season, the Saints have now notched the same amount through just five weeks in season 2019.

A 40-point victory over the highly fancied Melbourne on Saturday was the latest of those successes, with coach Alan Richardson describing why things suddenly feel different for his newly energised side this year.

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"We're winning," Richardson said after the game.

"There's no doubt that helps. It means that you get belief in the way you're going to play.

"We've got players moving into games played and years in the system where they should be more consistent and that's happening, but it's still only early.

"We've been really consistent without having stars, with having a solid contribution from everyone."

Richardson was a man under pressure heading into this year.

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Into his sixth season at the club, the St Kilda coach desperately needed to turn things around after another disappointing campaign where the Saints again missed finals football.

But even after a 4-1 start to the year, Richardson doesn't feel vindicated. Instead, he said it was that pressure over the summer that helped spark change leading into this year.

"We were the first to put our hands up and say last year was incredibly disappointing," Richardson said.

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"I understand it. There's been frustrations from everyone at the footy club, none more so than us. Our fans had been disappointed.

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"We understood the noise. We just had to control what we could control. That was to get as fit as we could and to whack in and get as physical as we possibly could.

"That's why blokes have become more consistent. We really challenged the group. It's only early, but they're going well."

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The manner of St Kilda's victories this season have also helped build confidence.

After a narrow victory over Gold Coast in round one, St Kilda was challenged by Essendon and then Hawthorn before comfortably overcoming Melbourne on Saturday evening.

A narrow five-point loss to Fremantle was the only defeat sandwiched between those results, with Richardson claiming the team is benefiting from its gruelling wins.

"They've had four armwrestles," he said.

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"We just missed over in Perth against Fremantle. But other than that, they've been really tight, close contests. I'd imagine they'd be really satisfied and have a lot of energy.

"Halfway through the last quarter (on Saturday), you know you're in control of the game. We haven't been like that for a while, so it's good."