ADELAIDE veteran Eddie Betts has earnt an immediate recall as the struggling Crows aim to "reset" the players and "re-attach their love of playing the game" to ensure the season doesn't spiral out of control.
FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game
Betts is back for Saturday night's clash with St Kilda at Adelaide Oval, just a week after the champion small forward was axed for the first time since joining the Crows in 2014.
The 32-year-old booted four goals against Glenelg in the SANFL last weekend, while at the same time the Crows went down to Carlton by 27 points at the MCG, Adelaide's fourth loss in its past five games.
Don Pyke's Crows have dropped to 9-9 after back-to-back defeats. Picture: AFL Photos
"Eddie will come back in this week," Crows coach Don Pyke said.
"We're really happy with what he produced last week.
"He was able to get involved in the game, he was able to get up the ground and his score involvements were high."
Pyke said ruckman Reilly O'Brien (concussion) trained on Thursday and should be cleared to take on the Saints, while there would be a "few" changes to the team.
After inviting players around to his house for pizza and beers on Sunday, Pyke has taken a lighter approach this week.
That included having a session at AFL Max, a footy skills and entertainment centre for kids.
"We've done some work with the playing group this week in terms of resetting them," Pyke said.
"Just to free them up a little bit to reattach themselves to their love of playing the game.
"That fun's been drained a bit by the results."
We've done some work with the playing group this week in terms of resetting them ... that fun's been drained a bit by the results - Don Pyke
The Crows (9-9) are eighth on the ladder, ahead of the Western Bulldogs on percentage.
The dramatic form slide – coupled with last year's 12th-placed finish after reaching the 2017 Grand Final – has put Pyke's position under scrutiny.
The coach said he intended to see out the final two years of his contract, and denied there were residual trust issues stemming from the failed Gold Coast camp at the start of last year.
"Not to my knowledge," he said.
"For 20 weeks, I haven't heard anything about that.
"I would've thought if it was still an issue, I would've heard about it."
The Crows' aging list has also been a red-hot topic, with only one-third of the players under the age of 23.
Veterans Richard Douglas, David Mackay, Sam Jacobs and Andy Otten are out of contract, while Betts, Josh Jenkins and Bryce Gibbs are also over 30.
"The list is always evolving," Pyke said.
"It's well recognised we've got some guys who are out of contract who are over 30, so we're always assessing what that looks like.
"I look at guys not on their age, but on their performance. If they're performing and they're capable of staying at a really high level, they stay.
"If we don't think they're the future of the footy club, then we have those conversations."