Saints won't rest on laurels
Thursday July 16, 2009
ST KILDA'S two-game buffer on top of the ladder won't be used as a reason for resting players in the run to the finals, says coach Ross Lyon.The undefeated Saints will play Adelaide on Sunday and Lyon said he would stick to the club's philosophy of picking the best available team this week and beyond in a relentless bid to keep improving.Steven King has served a four-match ban and is available, but Lyon said the premiership ruckman was not an automatic selection after missing a large chunk of football."He's a really good chance, but we have to weigh up Ben McEvoy's development against the return of an experienced ruckman, so it's probably 50-50 at this stage," Lyon said yesterday.Key defender Max Hudghton was rated more than likely to be available after missing two games with a sprained ankle and Adam Schneider is expected to return after missing last weekend's game due to the birth of his first child.Resisting team changes regardless of scoreboard results will continue, according to Lyon, as long as the coaching staff sees improvement and "our effort is strong" from week to week.The Saints have used 27 players this year, three fewer than the Western Bulldogs and Sydney and six fewer than Geelong, which had six key players sidelined with minor injuries a week after losing to the Saints."It's been 15 weeks, it's a marathon and they're all tough (games)," Lyon said. "Our reality hasn't changed from where it was four weeks ago, six weeks ago or round one; practise mediocrity . . . practise it often and you'll blink and find yourself sliding down the ladder."Lyon rated the Crows and Western Bulldogs among the "very strong teams coming from behind" the Saints on the ladder and said it was disrespectful to other teams to expect to win without naming the best possible side.Two weeks after beating the Cats in the most highly anticipated game of the season, Lyon said the Saints had thrived on "high-pressure, high-intensity games" that provide the best finals preparation. "We see it as a positive that we're in tight, hard-fought contests and people see us as a scalp to get," he said.Adelaide lost to the Saints by 32 points in round two, but onballer Brad Symes said the Crows' ability to win contested-ball situations and pressure opposition sides would hold them in good stead. "It's our biggest game for the year," Symes said on the club's website.