Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has called for Crows coach Matthew Nicks to be “ruthless” with his team selections following the side’s ninth straight loss of the 2020 season.
Nicks is facing the prospect of amassing the worst ever start to an AFL coaching career if Adelaide falls to Melbourne this week, with the rookie coach at risk of going 0-10.
He apologised to the club’s fans after the 69-point loss to North Melbourne on Saturday night with the first year mentor coming under fire for the way he addressed his players at halftime.
Nicks was seen speaking in an aggressive manner while they sat around a mini-oval on the floor of the change rooms as the coach used water bottles and bananas to send a clearer message to his team.
Cornes described the methods used as an “under-10 tactic” on social media during the game and didn’t hold back on AFL Sunday Footy Show.
Nicks’ half-time coaching tactic
He said the club can’t “hang their hat on rebuilding” for their woeful form this year with the Kangaroos also fielding a side with an average of about 25.
“In fact the Crows had more 100 game or more players than what North Melbourne had. The four inclusions they had into that selected side was Gibbs, Atkins, Kelly and Knight- they’re all veterans.
“It wasn’t a young side don’t be mistaken by that. They lack depth and a lot of their senior players aren’t playing well. Matthew Nicks looks completely lost, to the point where you feel sorry for him.”
Cornes believes the Crows were lulled into a false sense of security after giving Essendon a huge scare last week and that Nicks needs to be harder on his players.
“On the back of performances like last week they get a little bit sucked in and think ‘we’re competitive we nearly got a win’ but they don’t look at it like it was Essendon they had seven of their best 22 out.
“I think they need to demand more. I think Matthew Nicks is being too nice to his players. All the talk is about the great feeling in the group but it’s time he got really ruthless on this side and make some big selection changes.”
Cornes said Nicks needs to be more cut-throat like rival coaches when play becomes stale within the team.
“We saw what Rhyce Shaw did. He dropped Brown and Polec their two highest paid players. Apart from Matt Crouch, no senior Crow has lost their place in this side. And that has to come – you need integrity at selection.”