MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin has pleaded for his football club to "grow up" after the Demons left their season in tatters with another shock defeat on Monday night.
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In being outclassed by a smarter Fremantle side, Melbourne lost its second game in five days against a lower-ranked opponent.
The Demons now require two wins from their final two games against Greater Western Sydney and Essendon, and other results to go their way, if they are to steal a finals berth.
The defeat leaves the Demons with a 12-25 record since their 2018 preliminary final berth, which continues to look more like an aberration by the week.
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"As a club, I think we need to become a much more ruthless club and really grow up and start to perform in these type of games," Goodwin said after the 14-point loss to the Dockers.
"This is a great position for our club to be in, to experience this again after last year (finishing 17th), but we need to start becoming more mature as a club and unconditional in the way we go about our business."
Goodwin conceded his side was "boring" to watch as it let the game slip in the second quarter.
Dockers coach Justin Longmuir praised his "brave" outfit for executing its skills during a third term in which match-winner Michael Walters kicked two of his three goals.
"The expectations on 'Sonny' are high but since he's come back from injury (round 12), he hasn't been in horrendous form like it was made out to be during the week," Longmuir said.
"Tonight he got some reward for effort."
"He led our forward line really well, helped it function a lot better than it has in the previous few weeks."
Walters was in the headlines this week after he appeared to gesture abuse towards the Dockers' coaches' box in last week's loss to Richmond.
"His frustration got the better of him last week and it's hard to execute your game when you're frustrated and your emotions boil over," Longmuir said.
"He was a lot calmer tonight, he was committed to playing his role for the team which he did exceptionally well.
"I couldn't be proud of the way he bounced back.
"He got on the front foot when somebody told him about it (last week's incident) and that was the first I heard of it to be honest.
"He assured me it wasn't directed at me, it was just his frustration at his performance and the previous play and of course I take his word for it."
The Dockers will need to assess a third-quarter ankle injury to defender Taylin Duman ahead of the five-day break into Saturday's clash with North Melbourne.