Perfect comeback to cutting sledge
STAR Melbourne duo Clayton Oliver and Jesse Hogan are expected to line up for Saturday night's AFL clash with Adelaide despite hiccups in their preparation.
Hogan was absent from Wednesday's training session, with coach Simon Goodwin later revealing the key forward had fallen ill.
Oliver left the session early and received treatment for quad tightness but the Demons are confident both players will be fine to face the Crows.
"He was a little bit tight, Clayton … it was more precautionary, bringing him off the track to make sure he's right to go," Goodwin told reporters.
"Hogan was crook yesterday. We kept him away from the group and he'll do some training in the next couple of days."
Midfielder James Harmes had a plate inserted into his broken hand on Monday and won't resume ball-work until Saturday but is also set to play. Co-captain Jack Viney (toe) and key defender Michael Hibberd (quad) are due to return in round 21.
Melbourne's after-the-siren loss to Geelong on Saturday night has been heavily dissected and raised questions about their ability to perform under pressure.
Former Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton led the criticism, saying nothing had changed at a club that rivals had always considered a "gentleman's club".
Goodwin laughed off the jibe, saying plenty had changed since Brereton's time.
"James Bond was a gentleman but he was a killer as well," Goodwin said.
"I think gentleman is fine.
"In fairness, if everyone sits back and looks at our playing group, we have a lot of competitors … and there will become a ruthless nature to the way we play.
"That's going to happen over a period of time."
The seventh-placed Demons remain inside the top eight only on percentage and have a tough run home with games against the Crows, Sydney, West Coast and GWS. Goodwin said it would be a major test for the Demons to face last year's grand finalists at Adelaide Oval.
"Their home form is outstanding," Goodwin said.
"They're certainly moving the ball in a way that's quite dynamic again and their best players are back in the team and playing some pretty strong footy." Meanwhile, rising star Angus Brayshaw has signed a four-year contract extension.