RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has conceded his underperforming side needs to better handle the "swings and roundabouts" of this unique AFL season.
The Tigers have been among the most vocal since the start of the year in airing their concerns about possibly having to temporarily relocate to an interstate hub to keep the season going.
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They have more parents among their playing group than many clubs, including skipper Trent Cotchin having three young children and Shane Edwards' partner being due to give birth in late August.
Cotchin said this week there was a "genuine chance" some of his teammates would not leave Victoria for an extended period in a hub, as is certain – and as soon as after round five.
"Acceptance is a big thing. This season, overall, has been a season of distractions," Hardwick said on Friday.
"It's the side that best gets a handle on those distractions and realises they are what they are (that) is going to flourish.
"At the moment, I'd probably say, 'Are we handling it to the best of our ability?'. We're going OK. Could we handle it better? Absolutely. But a lot of clubs are in the same boat.
"All I will say is we're dying to get there (to the interstate hub) and we're dying to play."
Richmond started the week expecting to play West Coast but the Queensland Government's refusal to welcome Victorians meant the Tigers were rescheduled to face Melbourne on Sunday.
Both sides have just one win, with Hardwick saying one of Ryan Garthwaite or Noah Balta would replace David Astbury (knee) in his side's backline.