ST KILDA coach Alan Richardson is not concerned that the remainder of the 2014 season is going to become a grind for the Saints, saying it will be a "fantastic" opportunity for his plethora of youngsters to launch their AFL careers.
The Saints made a bright start to 2014, winning three of their first five games, but have now lost five games in a row, with the past four losses coming at an average losing margin of 75 points.
Speaking after his team's 86-point loss to Collingwood at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, Richardson was buoyant about what St Kilda could still achieve in 2014.
"It won't be a challenge, it will be a fantastic opportunity for young players, for young guys to start and build careers," Richardson said.
"For guys that aren't in the team at the moment, like Tommy Lee who kicked five (goals) in a trial game today, (and) David Armitage will come back into the team.
"So there's going to be some real opportunities and that's the space we're in.
"We need to get games into our young players."
Richardson said youngsters Sebastian Ross, Brodie Murdoch, Luke Dunstan and Cameron Shenton had all shown positive signs against the Magpies.
Full-back Luke Delaney kept Pies spearhead Travis Cloke to one goal in the first half, but had to leave the ground in the third quarter with a sore hip.
Delaney returned to play out the match, but was limited in his movement.
Richardson said later his key defender was in doubt for next round's clash with Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.
"'Del' has had a bit of an issue with his hip," Richardson said.
"He's been really good for us all the way through (but) he was certainly struggling with his mobility after half-time.
"If we had the sub still sitting there, he probably would have been taken out of the game …
"He's not a certainty (to play next week). We'll do whatever we can to get him up, he's really important.
"It's probably about a 50-50 (chance) I would suggest at this stage."