St Kilda’s Rowan Marshall admits there were some “stern conversations” at the club after recent defeats.
The Saints were beaten by Fremantle by 41 points in Round 17 and the Western Bulldogs by 28 points in Round 18, a pair of results that threatened to derail their season after an 8-3 start.
However, they have wrestled back the ascendancy with back-to-back wins over West Coast and Hawthorn to sit in the eight with three fixtures remaining.
Saints coach Brett Ratten spoke about having a glass half-full mindset over the constant glass half-empty narrative that has been plaguing the club in recent times.
“Probably everyone that speaks abuts speaks about half-empty,” he said at the post-match press conference.
“Every time we speak to somebody we’re not going so well, we don’t do this, we don’t do that.
“We won the game of footy.
“We didn’t play the game for four quarters how we wanted to, but we took four points.
“Everyone can keep looking at how negative the Saints are and what the Saints are doing, we won a game of footy. It would be nice if people say well done for a change.”
In response to those words, Ruckman Marshall, who starred in Saturday’s win over the Hawks, admitted that talks have occurred within the group that have helped them turn around their form after threatening to fall out of the finals race.
“We had a pretty strong review of the game after the Western Bulldogs where we were really disappointing,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“We reviewed that game pretty heavily and found out that we just weren’t challenging each other enough on-field and off-field as well.
“We’ve had some pretty stern conversations over the last two or three weeks and I think that has been pretty positive.
“The last couple of weeks the footy has been pretty good on the back of that.”
Part of the 12-point win over the Hawks was to do with the performance of midfielder Dan Hannebery.
The injury-troubled former Swan has struggled for game time in recent seasons but contributed greatly with 27 disposals, five clearances and a goal in his first senior appearance of 2022.
Marshall praised the 31-year-old for his output and his leadership.
“He’s a superstar, ‘Hanners’,” Marshall added.
“He’s not only a good player, but a lot of people don’t realize how good he is with his communication and leadership inside the four walls of the footy club.
“I’ve never played with a better communicator before and you almost walk taller when you’re out there playing with him because you just know he’s got your back.
“He’s got the best intentions for the team. It was awesome to see him back out there.”
It was Hannebery’s 16th appearance for the Saints in four years.
The Saints will now look to maintain their position in the eighth when they take on ladder leader and current premiership favorite Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.