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St Kilda coach Ross Lyon adamant he has buy in from players about long-term vision as losses mount

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St Kilda coach Ross Lyon is adamant the mood at the battling Saints is “vibrant” buoyed by a player meeting this week led by Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera which gave the veteran mentor belief his troops have embraced his vision for long-term success.

Lyon confirmed he wouldn’t recall “ball magnet” Brad Crouch, who has amassed 71 disposals in two VFL games after recovering from knee surgery despite suffering three straight losses, and six in the past seven games, to put a finals return out of reach.

Amid continued criticism about St Kilda’s inability to score, having averaged less than 10 goals a game across the pas three losses, Lyon insisted the form slump was just a negative “gyration” after a positive one last season and that the recent results don’t change the “big picture “ plans.

“We’re really quite vibrant. We try and keep it really level, all there is to try to continuously improve,” Lyon said ahead of a trip to Perth to face a West Coast side coming off a 99-point loss to Adelaide.

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Camera IconRoss Lyon talks to star forward Max King at training. Pic: Michael Klein Credit: News Corp Australia

“There’s gyrations, they can be positive or negative, last year it was really positive. But the big picture doesn’t change, what we are building here .. culturally, building excellence, continued improvement, blooding the kids, drafting, improving capability.

“That doesn’t always get reflected on the scoreboard but I am really confident in the direction we are heading. We’re doing a lot right and the wheel will turn.

“History is littered with tough times .. your work hard and you bust through. That’s indisputable, it’s just what happens.”

After all-Australian star Jack Sinclair said on Wednesday that the players lacked a bit of “belief” at the moment, Lyon said that was natural, but confidence would come from “action” which he was confident he would get from a playing group stung by their poor form.

“We had a meeting where everyone engaged, Wanganeen-Milera took it, I felt a bit more belief because everyone was buying in and everyone was active. (Confidence) is nice to have but you don’t need it to be successful.

“You can’t just be defined by results and pushed around by it. The power is in the response. We haven’t been at our best and we want to get back to it.”

The Saints injected new blood to help their cause via the mid-season rookie draft with 22-year-old Max Hall, one of the most improved players in the VFL where he played with the Box HIll Hawks, training for the first time with his new teammates on Thursday at Moorabbin.

“He’s a tough midfielder/half-forward who comes equipped with speed, endurance and tenacity, but also has good football smarts and the ability to make sound decisions under pressure,” St Kilda talent identification boss Simon Dalrymple said.

“Max has been a player we’ve kept tabs on for some time now and we’re thrilled to have him as a part of our list.

Originally published as St Kilda coach Ross Lyon adamant he has buy in from players about long-term vision as losses mount

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