PAUL Roos has taken responsibility for Melbourne’s heartbreaking loss on Sunday as it emerged a communication breakdown may have cost the Dees in the final minute.
Midfielder Bernie Vince admitted he thought minutes remained on the clock when the final siren sounded.
Leigh Montagna kicked the goal that gave St Kilda a two-point win with 19 seconds left, after Jeremy Howe had put the Demons in front just 22 seconds earlier.
Roos, who last week said the Demons suffered from an “inability to listen”, blamed the Demons' failure to put sufficient numbers behind the ball for the loss.
"We couldn't get it done by putting a number behind the ball or two numbers or three numbers," Roos said post-match.
"Normally, in those situations, that's what would happen.
"As a coach, you take responsibility. If you can't get it done, you can't get it done.”
Vince said he was unclear as to how much time was left after Howe's goal.
"You never know how long to go but there was only 24, 25 minutes gone. Personally, I thought there was at least ... 4-5 minutes to go and our runner was stuck on the field too, giving a message, so there's probably a number of things that went wrong in that last bit," he told ABC radio after the game.
"Ideally, we would have had someone or maybe even two guys go back. That didn't happen and it probably cost us."
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Jack Steven – who was well held by Jack Viney for most of the afternoon – won the centre clearance and got the ball inside 50 twice before it was pounced on by an unmanned Montagna for the final goal.
Roos declined to elaborate on the specifics of what broke down to enable the Saints to pinch the win within 20 seconds of a centre clearance.
Click here to watch Paul Roos' full media conference
"Montagna kicked a goal," he said wryly, when asked what went wrong.
"We've just got to do a better job in those situations.
"We'll discuss [what happened] as a group."
It doesn't get any easier for the Demons with them scheduled to meet Geelong next Sunday at Simonds Stadium, a venue they haven't won at since 2005.
They may have Chris Dawes available, after the forward got through limited game time in the VFL on Saturday, but will lose Cam Pedersen to a suspected broken wrist.
Roos said there were positives – namely Jimmy Toumpas, who despite playing on match-winner Montagna at times had what he described as his best game for the Demons.
"His ability to impact the contest – he was on Joey for a little while – and he was able to control him and then win the ball himself, so there were certainly a lot of positives from our point of view," he said of Toumpas.
"It was a really good team performance and it's really, really disappointing to lose the game but there's certainly a lot of positives to come out of it."
He also said Jack Watts' back-to-back form impressed, as did Jesse Hogan's five-goal performance.
But ultimately, he said the overriding emotion was disappointment after the Demons were poised to claim their fourth win for the season.
"It's pretty tough talking about the game when you're sitting here after a loss like that," he said.
"It was probably a game that you'd expect between two teams that are really, really similar.
"It was a really good contest, they got out in the second quarter and we got back and it was a real arm wrestle in the second half.
"Both teams were really hard at it, turned it over a fair a bit, at times didn't take opportunities, and then at the end of the day it came back to a bounce of the ball and Montagna kicks a goal."