ST KILDA is standing by forward Tom Lee, despite being substituted before half-time in his side's 96-point loss to Geelong last Sunday.

"As much as possible, we want to get some minutes into him (Lee),” said coach Alan Richardson on Friday morning.

“But he has to live up to his end of the bargain. He knows where that sits."

There's been a focus on the mature-age recruit this week after Richardson ended his day unusually early on Sunday, due to form not injury.

"Tom didn't quite get it done for us in the first half," Richardson told reporters at Seaford on Friday.

"That's footy, if you don't get it done, you're a chance to sit down."

St Kilda secured the 23-year-old from WAFL club Claremont at the end of last season, and Richardson is still backing him to play a key role into the future.

"He's a really important player for us, Tommy, going forward. He's coming back from two shoulder reconstructions," Richardson said.

The Saints will be looking to earn back some respect when they host West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. 

"It's an opportunity for us to do something about what happened last week," Richardson said.  

"We were really disappointed with the way we played, we can't accept that and we need to bounce back."

Defender Luke Delaney will get the job on in-form Eagles forward Josh Kennedy.

"He'll be the man who'll get the job there, we'll look to support (him) whenever we can," Richardson said.

"Our focus will be to make sure we have real pressure on their ball carriers."

Twitter: @MattThompson