FLAG favourite Melbourne is disengaging from footy while scoffing at talk it has one hand on the AFL premiership cup, winger Angus Brayshaw says.
The Demons are in a hub in Perth for the remainder of the AFL finals after thrashing Brisbane by 33 points in a qualifying final in Adelaide.
Melbourne will play a preliminary final on September 10 against the winner of this Friday night's semi-final between Geelong and Greater Western Sydney.
And Brayshaw says before then, it's vital the Demons enjoy their week off by taking a breaking from footy.
"We are just trying to relax, to disengage from football," Brayshaw told reporters on Tuesday.
"The tendency is for blokes to get excited for these big games obviously, but the reality is we're a while off playing.
"Playing out all these different scenarios is really draining.
"Coaches have driven this ... trying to switch off and not really talk about too much footy at the moment.
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"If we start preparing for a hypothetical opponent, we're not doing ourselves any favours, we're probably spending some mental energy that we could be saving.
"And that is the whole point: you work so hard to get this opportunity to have a week off, the idea is to maximise your rest, not cook yourself."
The Demons' blitz of Brisbane further enhanced the premiership favouritism of coach Simon Goodwin's team.
But Brayshaw said talk from pundits including Justin Leppitsch that Melbourne has one hand on the cup "doesn't sit great with me".
"All year, Goody (Goodwin) has said it is hard to win games of AFL football," he said.
"No matter who you play, you have to really respect your opponent and there's no easy games - and if we're being honest here, it goes to a whole new level when finals come around.
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"So people who think a team, not necessarily us, any team is a shoo-in to win the flag, they're probably underselling how hard it is to win games.
"That is something that our group certainly hasn't lost sight of.
"As to say who has got a hand on the cup, it's way, way too early to be talking about that."
Melbourne players will resume training on Friday for the club's first preliminary final since 2018, when goal-less to halftime in a loss to West Coast.
"It just isn't the same without all our supporters," Brayshaw said.
"As I reflect on 2018, some of my fondest memories were playing finals in front of our home crowd and our home fans.
"To not have them there ... it makes me sad that there is so many people we have left behind at home that won't be able to share in the experience with us."