Richard Douglas admits the Crows need to win at least seven from their remaining 10 home-and-away games to qualify for finals. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: The Advertiser
ADELAIDE players returned from their mid-season break yesterday further behind in their chase for an AFL finals berth - and with much to learn with changes in their playbook.
It will take until Saturday's re-start against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium to see how coach Brenton Sanderson's rethink on the Adelaide game plan will manifest as a circuit-breaker against a three-game losing streak.
In the meantime, secrecy was the order of a farcical morning at West Lakes that might have reflected the pressure that increased on the 11th-ranked Crows (5-7) at the weekend.
They have moved from four to eight premiership points from a place in the AFL top eight.
A publicly declared open training session on Max Basheer Reserve at West Lakes was moved to an equally chopped up Thebarton Oval.
The reason for the move, according to Crows officials, was safety issues on Adelaide's regular training ground outside AAMI Stadium.
Yet, the surface was still safe for some Crows - such as young midfielder Brad Crouch, veteran Graham Johncock and in-form SANFL player Richard Tambling - to practise their craft.
Not only was there a change of venue but a rethink on training session status. It went from "open" to "closed" with two media outlets not only asked to leave Thebarton Oval but directed to stop filming despite being on public property.
Adelaide midfielder Richard Douglas may have been playing down how much change the Crows are being asked to embrace but he was not denying his team will be playing to a different theme.
"With tactical skills, we always have a closed session - as we did today," he said.
The Gold Coast scouts shut out of Adelaide's workouts this week can only report to Suns coach Guy McKenna the obvious. The Crows have recognised they have to rethink defence.
"We think we are playing some good footy (to attack) but the defensive side of the game has to improve a bit," said Douglas. "Hopefully, this week you will see much more pressure on the ball carrier and some stronger tackles.
"We'll tinker with a few little things. You will see that at the weekend.
"Nothing too major."
To qualify for consecutive finals series Adelaide needs at least seven wins from its remaining 10 home-and-away games - against the Suns, West Coast (home), Collingwood, Geelong (home), Fremantle, Port Adelaide (home), North Melbourne (home), the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne (home) and West Coast.
"We have to win seven of the next 10. We believe we're a chance," said Douglas.