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No frustration for Dees' coach Goodwin

The Dees have some soul-searching to do ahead of a tough run home. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

More than a decade of frustration continues to build for Melbourne supporters but coach Simon Goodwin is staying calm after the Demons slumped to a third-straight AFL loss.

The Demons will finish the round inside the top eight only on percentage after going down to St Kilda by two points in a nail-biter at the MCG.

Down by 27 points early in Sunday's final term, the Demons cut the deficit to two points with 30 seconds left when Jordan Lewis kicked truly from 40m out.

But the Saints won the ball out of the middle at the final stoppage and held on to prevail 18.11 (119) to 18.9 (117) in front of 38,910 fans.

Brownlow Medal contender Max Gawn was immense around the ground with 39 hitouts, 11 marks and 25 disposals, as was co-captain Jack Viney (26 disposals, nine clearances).

But all too often, the Demons failed to work hard enough when they didn't have the ball.

Consecutive losses to Collingwood, Port Adelaide and now St Kilda have ensured many of the Demons' critics remain unconvinced and left them looking vulnerable in their quest to snap a 12-year finals drought.

Not that Goodwin is getting frustrated.

"No, because this is a part of evolving as a footy team," Goodwin told reporters.

"We've ingrained the way we want to defend around the contest. We certainly consistently get enough supply and ability to score. Now it's about how we evolve ourselves into becoming the defensive team.

"Clearly, our game will go to a brand new level once we get that right.

"I've seen our ability to do it. It's just not ingrained yet and that's really our challenge."

Gawn has been the form ruckman in the competition this season and the Demons boast genuine A-grade players in Viney, Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Jesse Hogan.

Another failure to make the finals given the talent on their list would be a massive indictment on the club but Goodwin insists it's not on his mind.

"I think 14 or 15 clubs are aspiring to play finals," Goodwin said.

"We'd love to play finals but as I've said all along, we can only look at what's right in front of us.

"At the moment, we need to fix a few little things in our game and I think you'll see different results coming our way."