Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks has been forced into an apology to the club’s fans after the latest dispiriting performance of the 2020 season.
Despite the clash with North Melbourne being 17th vs 18th, Nicks’ Crows looked second-best in all aspects, leaving the first-year coach searching for answers yet again.
Following Adelaide’s 69-point loss, Nicks admitted that the club had taken a step back against the Kangaroos after two encouraging performances in preceding weeks.
“I love our people, I love our staff, our players, our coaching group but we took a big step backwards,” he said.
“I’m sorry to our supporters, we weren’t at the level, we were nowhere near the level.”
“We are playing AFL level.”
With his side facing a major deficit at half-time, Nicks raised eyebrows with what seemed like an elementary coaching tactic at the major break.
Cameras inside the Crows’ rooms showed Nicks demonstratively giving directions to his players who were sitting around a mini-oval on the floor of the changerooms as the coach used water bottles and bananas to show his team how to position itself.
The coaching tactic caught the attention of Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes, who referred to it on Twitter as an “Under 10’s” tactic.
Nicks was also forced to address suggestions that he is not hard enough on his players, after criticism during the week from South Australian football legend Graham Cornes.
“It is an interesting one that, I wouldn’t say I am a carrot coach I do bring the stick,” he said.
“It is never an intention for a player to go out and underperform … it is about education and working with these guys to make them a better player.
“We are not going to drop off and get angry at each other. we are going to find a way to get better.”