Crows should expect more pain: Ricciuto

Steve Larkin
Captain Rory Sloane (r) is among under-performing senior Adelaide players says Mark Ricciuto

Adelaide powerbroker Mark Ricciuto says Crows fans should expect more pain this AFL season.

The Crows have plunged to bottom of the ladder after consecutive record losses, to Port Adelaide and then Gold Coast.

Ricciuto says this season - the first of a rebuild of the club's playing list - always loomed as painful.

But he's shocked at the extent of the hurt, saying an out-of-sorts senior core of players aren't performing.

"It's making everyone think the rebuild is more aggressive than what it really is," Ricciuto told Triple M on Monday.

"It's not. It's the start of it.

"We got rid of (Josh) Jenkins, (Eddie) Betts, (Hugh) Greenwood, (Alex) Keath, (Richard) Douglas and (Sam) Jacobs last year to start the rebuild after the (premiership) window shut after having a crack for the last four or five years.

"It was always going to be a bit painful, this year, and it still will be painful.

"But it wasn't meant to be as painful as this."

Ricciuto, who is Adelaide's football director, named captain Rory Sloane, ex-skipper Taylor Walker, Rory Laird, Tom Lynch and brothers Brad and Matt Crouch as among the misfiring senior core.

"When you do a rebuild, you should do a rebuild with some experience so they can lead the way so they don't get flogged," he said.

"And the plan at Adelaide was to do it like that.

"At the moment, for whatever reason - whether it's confidence, whether it's the new game plan, whether it's the midfield adjusting to a new ruckman or whether they're just out of form - those players aren't playing near 100 per cent.

"So the results over the last two weeks have been a lot worse than what I would have planned, absolutely.

"I didn't think we were going to play like this the last two weeks, no-one would have."

Ricciuto said first-year coach Matthew Nicks' biggest challenge was to get the senior core performing better.

"If he does that, the losses won't be anywhere near as bad as they have been the last two weeks," he said.

"I'm going to back Nicksy in to be able to turn it around.

"I'm going to back those players in to be able to turn their form around and hopefully they can - and they need to, otherwise it's going to continue."