GREATER Western Sydney interim coach Mark McVeigh has questioned whether his players have "checked out" following Saturday's lacklustre 73-point loss to Sydney.
In a stinging press conference following his club's fourth straight loss, McVeigh went to the extreme of listing eight players he thought "went to the wall", leaving everyone to assume the other 14 didn't.
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The Giants were outplayed around the contest and outworked away from it as their season continued to spiral towards a meek conclusion.
McVeigh described the performance as "extremely disappointing" and said big changes would need to be made next pre-season, even suggesting a change in player leadership at the club.
"It's very unlike the Giants, these are the games you've got to get up for and our club has prided ourselves on that for a long period of time," he said.
"They're far superior to us at the moment, clearly.
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"There's just the unfortunate part of dealing with whether players have checked out or not.
"That's as honest as you possibly can be.
"There were probably eight players that really went to the wall today – Kelly, Whitfield, Perryman, Taylor, Ward, Hogan, Greene and Kennedy.
"I thought those eight players fought right through to the end and gave absolutely everything. Eight players doing that is not enough."
He conceded players were struggling to deal with decisions on their future, along with the reality they were no chance of playing in September.
McVeigh was pleased with Sam Taylor, who despite having three second half goals kicked on him by Lance Franklin, was clearly his team's best player, and Harry Perryman, who made a successful return after seven weeks out with broken ribs.
"They are ready to take this club to a different standard because they're honest, their feedback is strong, they're not afraid to upset anyone and they want to win.
"The quicker those type of players can sit among our leaders, the better off we'll be. That's the reality of it.
"We've got a tremendous amount of leadership from a lot of players for a long period of time, but there needs to be a changeover in my mind."
Co-captain Stephen Coniglio, who is having a tremendous season, was a late withdrawal with "soreness", but McVeigh said he should be fine to return next week.
"I'm extremely disappointed with today, we embarrassed our club," McVeigh said.
"I just think as a collective, we've got to shift the standards of our footy club and it's very hard to do on the run in-season.
"We need to reset and change a lot of things come pre-season. That's as blatantly honest as I can be.
"We've got to find the players that will fight right to the end."
It was a different story for Sydney coach John Longmire who was delighted with his team's fourth straight win, a complete four-quarter performance.
"It's all built on our defensive pressure," Longmire said.
"There's still things to come out of the game I'm sure we'll need to get better at, there always is…but I thought the consistency is starting to get to that level we need.
"It was a really strong performance."
While Luke Parker won a record fifth Brett Kirk Medal as the best player afield in the Sydney Derby, James Rowbottom also caught his eye with 23 disposals and 13 tackles.
"Some of those tackles were second and third efforts and he just went from one to the next to the next and he got there really quick," Longmire said.
"His ability to close space in a hurry has been a highlight most of the year."