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Confidence just a word, Lyon says amid Saints slump

Just as an Olympic swimmer can win a gold medal in Paris despite not bursting with confidence, so Ross Lyon has urged his misfiring AFL team to stay the course.

The Saints are heading into the dog days of mid-season on a three-game losing streak.

After making the finals last year, the Saints will face Saturday's tough round-12 road trip against West Coast with only three wins for the season and five losses by 10 points or fewer.

In short, it could be easy for the mood at Moorabbin training to match Thursday's grey skies.

"Everyone uses the word 'confidence' - confidence is just a feeling, it's an emotion," Lyon said.

"Where does confidence come from? Action. We had a meeting where everyone engaged, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera took it.

"I felt a bit more belief in it, because everyone was buying in and everyone was active.

"It's nice to have (confidence), but you don't need it to be successful - there have been plenty of Olympic swimmers who get on the blocks, not confident they're going to win gold, but all they do is get into relentless action.

"And their prep has been solid. That's the model and the one we're pursuing."

Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera of St Kilda.
Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera led a team meeting as the Saints look for an upturn in form. (Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS)

Lyon is adamant if the Saints knuckle down, their fortunes will turn.

"When it's easy, it's easy to work hard. History is littered with tough times, it's never as bad as you think, and you work hard and you bust through," he said.

"We keep working hard, the wheel will turn - that's indisputable, that's just what happens.

"You can't just be defined by results, be pushed around by it. Clearly we need to improve.

"We're really clear where it lies. Sometimes you have to build out your capability."

The latest word that Lyon has slipped into his media conferences is "gyrations".

"There's gyrations - they can be positive or negative. The gyration last year was really positive and if you're looking in blocks, there was a positive block and then this year, a lot of close losses," he said.

"We just need a couple of wins to fuel us a little bit, and then it just gets away from you.

"But the big picture doesn't change, what we're building here.

"That doesn't always reflect on the scoreboard, but I'm really confident, the direction that we're taking."

Lyon said the Saints clearly had missed midfielder Brad Crouch, who has been sidelined since March with a knee injury.

The Saints picked up utility Max Hall on Wednesday night in the mid-season draft.

Hall finished work on the family farm at 6pm and shortly after, took a phone call with the good news.