ST KILDA co-captain Jack Steele has revealed the Saints' senior players led a "harsh" and "honest" review in the aftermath of Saturday night's humiliating loss to Essendon. 

In the club's worst performance under coach Brett Ratten, the Saints were belted by 75 points with 14 players recording one tackle or less as the Bombers ran rampant. 

Steele, the only shining light with 35 disposals, said a player-driven review demanded answers ahead a crunch match with West Coast on Saturday. 

"We've had some pretty harsh, open and honest conversations in the last couple of days about our previous two performances and the effort we've shown," Steele said on Tuesday morning. 

"There's obviously been some pretty bad efforts from our players off the back of the way we're moving the ball. We just tweaked a few things and hoping to train them well this week.

04:01 Mins
Published on

Ryder returns as Saints talk tough, Bomber boost, Eagle set to sign

Nat Edwards with all the latest news

Published on

Saints champion, and Steele's former teammate, Nick Riewoldt led the chorus of criticism, labelling the Saints "soft" and "immature" in the loss to the Bombers. 

"People will be entitled to their own opinions but there were a few efforts on the weekend that just weren't good enough and they weren't the Saints' way," Steele said. 

"We've gone through them and we're going to hold blokes accountable from here on out. The good thing is we get an opportunity in four days' time to redeem ourselves and that's what we're going to try and do."

The date with the Eagles at Marvel Stadium kickstarts a season-defining three-week period that includes matches against Richmond and Port Adelaide. 

AFL FIXTURE Check it out here

Losses in all three matches will leave Ratten's side at 1-5. 

"You can easily look at those games and be scared of what's to come but as we've already seen this season, there's so many upsets and blowouts and things like that," Steele said. 

"They're great teams we're coming up against but they're also real opportunities for us."

The Saints received some positive news on Tuesday morning with Paddy Ryder returning to training after a month away

While he won't be in line to tackle Nic Naitanui on Saturday, No.1 ruckman Rowan Marshall is in the frame after playing a half in a VFL practice match over the weekend after a pre-season foot injury.