Midfielder Brandon Ellis says the SUNS can’t afford to be sucked in by “external noise” after Saturday’s loss to North Melbourne.

The team showed fight against the Kangaroos at Blundstone Arena but were let down by poor execution and decision making.

Speaking to the media on Monday morning, Ellis said the SUNS needed to withstand the heat which would inevitably come externally.

“Pressure is a funny word. To be honest pressure doesn’t exist, pressure is just the expectations that we put on ourselves,” Ellis said.

“Obviously we’ve got high expectations within the football club and what we wanted to achieve this year.

“We’re not meeting them at the moment… we’re just going to keep focussing on the stuff we can control and that’s internally what we’ve been doing.”

The SUNS will take on Ellis’ former club Richmond this week in a Thursday night lights clash at 7:20pm at Metricon Stadium.

The Tigers had an uncharacteristic performance against St Kilda in Round 15, and Ellis knows better than most what to expect in response.

“They’re a proud football club and I don’t think they’re going to dish that up on this Thursday night so we’ve got to be ready for a fierce Richmond footy team,” he said.

“It’s very rare that they play two bad games in a row so we’ll be ready for it and prepared for it.

“It’s a bonus off a five-day break that we get to get back out there and showcase our strengths as well.”

With the SUNS playing on Thursday night, Ellis also encouraged Gold Coasters to throw their support behind runners in the Gold Coast Marathon over the weekend.

Triple M Gold Coast host Spida Everitt was in attendance, with Ellis and the SUNS supporting him in his Limping Legends campaign as part of the Marathon.