SIMON Goodwin insists the unbeaten Demons won’t be taking their opposition lightly over the next fortnight.

Melbourne improved its record to 8-0 with a polished 38-point victory against St Kilda on Sunday, which sees them a game clear atop the AFL ladder.

The Dees have West Coast (18th, 1-7) in Perth in round nine, followed by North Melbourne (17th, 1-7) at Marvel Stadium in round 10.

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And despite being at opposite ends of the table, the Melbourne coach said his side will get found out if they get complacent.

“Our challenge every week is to improve and to get better and look at opportunities where we can do that. That will be no different next week against the Eagles," he said post-game.

“We live in a very, very tough industry… and we should never underestimate the challenge and respect the opposition at all times; that process won’t change for us.

“We treat our opposition with enormous respect.”

10:32 Mins
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Full post-match, R8: Demons

Watch Melbourne's press conference after round eight's match against St Kilda

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Alarmingly, for the rest of the competition, Goodwin said the premiers, who have won 15 games on the spin and haven’t tasted defeat since round 19 last year, still have plenty of improvement in them.

“There’s a variety of different things that teams are challenging us with. The good thing is we are able to learn from it, and that’s what we do as a footy club, we learn from the situations we’re in. We look at those things as opportunities to get better and continue to round our game out,” he said.

“We’ve learnt a lot over the first eight weeks and we’ll continue to learn as the year goes on. We’ve got a lot of work to do, still.

“There’s some really good signs today that our game is heading in the right direction.”

05:46 Mins
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Highlights: Melbourne v St Kilda

The Demons and Saints clash in round eight

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Goodwin was full of praise for his side’s defence, which restricted St Kilda to 8.7 (55), its second-lowest score of the season.

Max King, who is averaging 2.7 goals per game this year, kicked two goals, but was well held by Steven May, while Jack Higgins, who has kicked one bag of five goals and two of four in 2022, booted just the one major from 10 touches.

“To keep the Saints to 55 points on a nice day at the MCG, defensively we were really sound,” said Goodwin.

“They’ve been managing to hit the scoreboard… if you take away the Cairns game … So I thought our defence was outstanding today, right across the ground.”

Luke Jackson shouldered much of the ruck load against Patrick Ryder and Rowan Marshall, with Goodwin conceding skipper Max Gawn “was just a little bit sore” after copping “a couple of knocks”.

Max Gawn in action during round eight, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

WA-born Jackson, who was taken at pick No.3 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, remains unsigned beyond this season, with speculation both the Eagles and Dockers are circling.

The coach was asked how negotiations are tracking.

“It’s much talked about isn’t it,” Goodwin remarked.

“He’s a terrific young player and we’re really confident with where that sits with him and I’m sure something will get done in the not-too-distant future.”

Luke Jackson (left) and Rowan Marshall compete in the ruck during round eight, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten, meanwhile, said the Saints played well in patches, but ultimately, that’s not going to get it done against the league benchmark.

“I think there was periods where we showed glimpses and probably that’s the challenge for us… Melbourne are there for four quarters and you can’t just say we’re going to play a half or five minutes here and then drop off, you have to play the full game,” Ratten explained.

The Saints were far from disgraced and the 38-point margin belied their performance.

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Ratten said there were some positives from the game and has challenged his players to take them into the rest of the season.

“We did have some things in the game where we thought, ‘if we keep moving the ball this way or defending that way or our contest work was at that level, we’re in the game’," he said.

“The difference between the two teams was one team did it for four quarters and one didn’t.

“We got a snapshot of what the best looks like.”

09:27 Mins
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Full post-match, R8: Saints

Watch St Kilda's press conference after round eight's match against Melbourne

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The Saints are 5-3 and sit seventh on the ladder, ahead of a round nine clash against the Cats at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

The Saints will be sweating on the fitness of Dan Butler, who was subbed out due to a foot problem.

“Dan’s had an Achilles that we’ve been managing and he was pretty sore during the week and he has been for a couple of weeks,” Ratten said.

“He got sore during the game, it was there, it was one of those things.

“We know the stories of Achilles’, with (Jade) Gresham snapping it and what it does, so you’ve got to be mindful there.”

Ratten said the six-day break will challenge Butler to get up for the Geelong test.