REMOVING the burden of past failure remains an issue for Melbourne, according to its coach Paul Roos.
He said the team went into survival mode when Geelong got an advantage on the scoreboard and therefore didn't play in the coordinated fashion required to compete.
Roos said it was up to his players to find a way to change that habit.
"It's hard to tell whether there are still some [players] that hang onto the past, that [feeling of] poor me and here we go again. That sort of stuff … tends to creep in," Roos said.
Melbourne did not kick a goal in the first quarter and then conceded eight goals in the second quarter to go in at half-time 57 points behind Geelong.
"For whatever reason we just tend to fall away," Roos said.
He agreed it was possible the inability to post a goal during the first quarter could be deflating, especially for a young team.
But he did not use that failure as an excuse.
Melbourne's inability to do basic things, such as pick up Geelong's free players or match them in the tackle count, made it look very ordinary at times.
"What does it come down to?" Roos said. "Work rate and running: just a simple thing in footy, just the ability to two-way run."
Roos agreed the effort was disappointing and admitted he was frustrated with the team's ability to spread and put pressure on the opposition, particularly in the second quarter.
"[There were] too many guys who weren't all that interested in competing today. Playing a good team [that is] not a good mindset to bring," Roos said.
He said it was too early to tell which senior players earned a pass mark but did say they needed to learn how to adjust to what was happening on the ground.
However he said certain players sometimes looked to have performed worse when the team performed poorly and he was more upset with the collective effort than that of individuals.
"You can see them trying but they all try individually rather than collectively and that is why there are times when we can't move the ball," Roos said.
He bemoaned the fact the Demons could not muster an 18-man offensive move throughout the game and was inconsistent in their all-ground defence.
Roos said the final six games were critical to ensure the club entered what he has promised will be a demanding pre-season advanced on where it was at this point of the season.
"It's really six weeks to play some good footy and learn those things that we are not doing really well at," Roos said. "Sometimes I get really frustrated but I recognise that players have learned a lot but equally I think we have to continue to push minimum standards at this footy club and today we dropped off in that area."