ST KILDA coach Brett Ratten says his side needs to urgently regain confidence and fix its scoring efficiency woes to address a worrying form slump that was compounded by a 54-point loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday.
Despite the inside 50 count being even at 52 apiece, St Kilda was no match for a slick Power performance that has left last year's finalists reeling at 2-4 and sitting inside the bottom four.
The Saints have the second-worst percentage in the League with 67.0% after six rounds, ahead of only winless North Melbourne (45.9%).
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Ratten said post-game that his side was low on confidence, which he put down to a lack of continuity and issues adjusting to the rule changes brought in this season.
"I think [we're lacking] a bit of continuity in our team. [Rowan] Marshall has played two games this year, [Zak] Jones didn't play the first game and missed last week," Ratten said.
"The game's changed too and [we're struggling] to adjust the rotations and the length of games, but players are trying to find a way.
"Our style of play isn't shining through how we'd like to. So there's a few things there but I think we need to get some confidence back."
St Kilda was badly hurt by poor forward efficiency and inaccuracy, especially in the first term when the Saints kicked 1.4 from 19 inside-50 entries.
The Saints also badly lost the centre clearance count (16-6), an area in which Ratten said his side had previously excelled.
"I think our inability to score, which was a great strength of ours from an accuracy point of view and potency point of view, has dried up," he said.
"Our centre bounces were a real strength of ours but last week we were minus 10 and this week we were minus 10.
"We're lacking a little bit of confidence to click and jell. That's probably hurting us a bit."
Ratten said wingman Brad Hill – who was subbed out in the last quarter with an ankle complaint – had a tight Achilles and was in doubt for next week, but he indicated ruckman Paddy Ryder was likely to return to the senior side after a strong VFL performance.
Meanwhile, Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley praised his side for withstanding the barrage of St Kilda forward forays in the first quarter and only conceding one goal.
He said he was pleased his defenders and entire team stayed composed and eventually took hold of the game.
"There's absolutely no doubt we controlled the game, we played a really calm and composed game of football," Hinkley said.
"We knew the threat, and we knew how hard St Kilda would come, particularly early.
"We took on the risk, and managed it really well."