Confident Dees ‘believe we can beat anyone’
MELBOURNE will charge into its first finals series in 12 years believing it plays finals-style footy which can beat anyone.
The Demons produced one of their most commanding performances of the year to bury GWS Giants by 45 points at the MCG.
The triumph sets up a mouth-watering do-or-die first final against nemesis Geelong at the MCG in a fortnight.
But midfielder Dom Tyson (broken arm) and hard nut Dean Kent (AC joint) are in a race against time to be fit, after going down early in the victory.
Geelong will have a huge advantage in finals experience next weekend, but Demons' coach Simon Goodwin said it was a non-factor.
Goodwin said the Dees were hungry and focused and would fear no one next month.
"We are in-form and we want to stay in-form, and we believe that we can beat anyone, really," Goodwin said.
"Our playing group has got a formula they have got to stick to, and they have got a brand they that know stands up.
"They go in with confidence."
The Demons will regain clearance king and co-captain Jack Viney from a serious foot problem for the elimination final.
Speedster Jayden Hunt and Mitch Hannan will also press for selection in the VFL at the weekend.
Goodwin said the Dees' style of game was well-suited to finals football because of their strength "around the contest, and clearance and stoppage".
"I think we might have lost contested ball once for the year," Goodwin said.
"We know that's where finals are won, so we go in confident in our style and our brand and I thought the boys tackled incredibly well today.
"But they have established that over a long period of time, some of those are ingrained behaviours and that needs to remain strong for us."
Geelong has twice beaten Melbourne by a combined total of five points this season, but Goodwin was adamant the Demons had improved since then.
Only four Melbourne players in Sunday's team - Nathan Jones, Jordan Lewis, Jake Melksham and Michael Hibberd - have played finals.
But Goodwin said their September inexperience was insignificant.
"It means nothing," he said.
"(It is) a fresh start, basically playing our brand in the biggest game we can possibly play.
"So that doesn't hold any fears for us - our first final.
"We go in there knowing exactly what we are up against."
Tyson had surgery on his broken arm and could miss two or three weeks, while Kent will have scans.
Goodwin said the long-suffering Melbourne fan base was an inspirational force for his team.
"They have had 12 years of misery and now they can get in behind a team they really believe in," he said.
"I thought today they played a big part for us now, to inspire our players.
"It's terrific for our club, and I don't want to put a dampener on things, but we start a new tournament in two weeks' time.
"Everyone is on zero and that is a great position for us to be in."
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