A lack of defensive hunger, not his players reading their own good press, is behind Melbourne's mid-season slump, according to Simon Goodwin.
The Demons were lauded as a premiership contender as they rampaged to six wins on the trot before they went off the boil.
Goodwin's men suffered their third loss in a row when strugglers St Kilda shocked them by two points at the MCG on Sunday.
"I don't buy into that, that we get ahead of ourselves," Goodwin told reporters on Wednesday.
"We're a really committed group, we train hard, we work really hard on our game and we continue to find ways to try to improve.
"We're pretty positive about where we sit ... we're still in the eight in seventh on the ladder with an 8-6 record with a springboard into the back half of our year."
Melbourne's next opportunity to arrest their form slump is on Saturday night in Darwin where they take on Fremantle without Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands.
Even without those injured stars, the Demons will need to defend better than they have over the past three games if they are to get the points.
"It takes 22 guys on the team to actually really defend strongly," Goodwin said.
"So it's not the back six, it's not (the absence of) Jake Lever, we'll continue to tinker with that and find personnel that works, but ultimately it's everyone involved.
"... this isn't something new ... it's about how we actually get better and make it consistent. That takes a total buy-in from 22 guys playing the game.
"We would expect an improved performance this week but it's something we need to ingrain over time."