MASS changes are on the cards at the St Kilda selection table this week after the Saints' humiliating drubbing at the hands of the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.
The Saints were belted by 111 points under the roof at Marvel Stadium, which was their fourth loss by more than 50 points this season in a campaign that has quickly fallen out of their grasp.
Brett Ratten's side has the second-worst percentage in the competition, and the coach has promised a suite of changes for next week's clash with last-placed North Melbourne as the club tries to salvage its 2021 hopes.
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"It's unacceptable and we've got to do something about it. We can't just keep going with this and [have] a good quarter here or there. Players who aren't performing will have to go back to the twos," he said post-game.
"We've got some players in pretty good form in the reserves and we'll have to make some changes because we can't have that."
Ratten put his players on notice after the Saints' slaughter, with the axe hovering over a number of players who are yet to hit their straps this season.
"They were told that post-game around some of the gaps between their best and their worst and then that affects the team as well. We spoke about that," Ratten said.
He nominated midfielder Luke Dunstan and forward Mason Wood as two selection options for the club next week to come into the line-up, as Ratten admitted it was difficult to comprehend what had happened as the Bulldogs ran amok.
"Eight days ago [after the Cats clash] win, lose or draw you hold your head up high. But after that you don't know where to look and we can't have that," he said.
"It's a tough game but you can't just drop off the face of the earth and have a performance like that."
After last year's elimination final win over the Bulldogs, St Kilda entered this season with high hopes of going further than 2020's semi-final finish. However 10 rounds into the season they are stuck in the bottom six on the ladder having only beaten one top-eight side (West Coast in round four).
Ratten said it was "going to take a bit of work" if the Saints were to turn things around this season.
"If we keep going up and playing reasonable footy and then falling the next week or a week later it's going to be pretty tough for us," he said. "We as a team need to deal with some of the facts in front of us right now and we can't have the fluctuation in games like we are."
The Dogs will next week face changes, too, with star midfielder Adam Treloar set to undergo scans on a suspected syndesmosis ankle injury that saw him substituted out of the win in the first half.
They look likely to regain ruckman Tim English from concussion to help take on Melbourne in the top-of-the-table clash, but gun recruit Treloar set for at least several weeks on the sidelines.
"I just spoke to our medicos and they need to assess it but he'll be out for a little while," Beveridge said post-game.
"The boys are talking about a low-grade syndesmosis injury and usually that means you're out for a number of weeks, I'm not sure how many."