SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew says motivation levels are still high as the club prepares to tackle its final month of football for the year.
Gold Coast was uncharacteristically meek against a rampant Blues outfit in Darwin on the weekend, with Carlton’s fast start in the opening quarter crumbling the SUNS’ hopes for a comeback win.
The SUNS coach admitted post-match his team was outworked by their opponents but was adamant that it wouldn’t be a step back in the team’s development.
“We’ve made some gains and time will tell but we’re really motivated for the next month to make sure that those gains are solidified so that’s going to be our focus,” Dew said.
“There were times tonight where method dropped away as well under fatigue.
“Some of the players haven’t been in a game like that because we’ve had our effort up and we’ve had periods where it’s gone our way but tonight by and large it went their way the whole way.
“We’ll be able to take something out of it unfortunately, that’s the way it goes so we need to get back into it and make sure that those gains stick.”
Friday night’s match was the first time Gold Coast has been uncompetitive since Round 1 against Port Adelaide, and Dew drew comparisons to that opening round and how the team was able to make a statement in Round 2, albeit three months later.
“They were able to respond from that and I think we’re going to need that again,” he said.
“We’ll be asking the same questions of ourselves; the coaching group, footy club and players.
“We’ll do this together because we’ve been really proud of the way we’ve played (this season) and tonight we let ourselves down, we’ll put our hand up for that.”
Round 14 presents a good opportunity for the SUNS to right the ship, coming up against North Melbourne who are in the same vicinity on the ladder.
But Dew was cautious of the Kangaroos and their capabilities, stating his team would have to be up to scratch if they want to take home the four points.
“No doubt North would have watched tonight and think they’re a massive chance,” he said.
“When a team plays poorly you think you’re half a sniff so we need to make sure we’re at our absolute best.
“(Rhyce Shaw) has made some hard calls and guys are playing for their career and we need to have the same mindset.”