MELBOURNE must "stay united" as it tries to resurrect a season that is in danger of teetering over the edge, coach Simon Goodwin says.
The Demons head into Wednesday night's match against Richmond on Anzac Day Eve sitting at 1-4 and with critics lining up to lay into the performances they're serving up.
Goodwin said there was no point blaming certain individuals and was hopeful his team could respond to the adversity surrounding them.
"We're a united club, we're in it together. Our players are right behind each other and we're working incredibly hard to fix it, and that's what our supporters and members need to know," he said.
"We're not going to respond to comments because we know they're out there and we know, because of our performances, that's what we're going to receive."
Goodwin said the club needed to focus on the fundamentals to turn around a dismal start to 2019.
"I think we've got to go back to re-establishing what we are as a footy club, and that's a contest-based team that works really hard defensively with great effort and intent," he said.
"That's what we're really working hard towards as a group and as a club and that's going to take some work."
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The Demons will be forced to make at least one change to their side for the clash against the Tigers, with Neville Jetta (knee) to miss up to 10 weeks.
Goodwin would not reveal whether there would be other changes coming off a four-day break after its loss to St Kilda, but backed veteran Jordan Lewis to improve on what he produced in his first game of the season.
"Sometimes in adversity you find things … in your game that you can work on. That's where we're at right now, we're finding out a lot about us as a group," Goodwin said.
"When you get a short break like that it's great because we get a chance to get back into battle really quickly.
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"So, it's about being able to take stock, get some really good learnings and put a plan in place for our playing group and get back on the horse in a great environment against a big club like Richmond."
Goodwin was quick to leap to Lewis's defence after the veteran defender received widespread criticism.
"He's good to go. He came back in for his first game of the year last week and he was ready to go," Lewis said.
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"He didn't perform to the level and he was criticised for that. But what I will defend is what Jordan's given to this footy club, to Hawthorn and to the game and I think we need to respect that.
"Some of those comments that are quite insulting to our people, I will defend them strongly."
The Demons had two veteran soldiers speak to the players on Tuesday morning, with Goodwin saying the group had some good lessons from the stories that were told.