Higgins shattered by AFL misses: Ratten

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St Kilda livewire Jack Higgins was "pretty shattered" in the hours after missing two crucial shots at goal late in the AFL loss to Sydney, coach Brett Ratten says.

Higgins was one of the Saints' best players at the SCG on Saturday, gathering 23 disposals and 12 marks.

But his inaccurate return of one goal from seven shots proved costly in a nine-point defeat.

It include two shots that sailed wide in the final three minutes of the game when the Saints trailed by less than a goal.

"Post-game he was pretty shattered and I reminded him of what he did do well in regards to acquitting himself," Ratten told Fox Footy on Monday night.

"He took 12 marks, 23 possessions as a small forward and he had a day that he'd like to take back in front of the sticks."

Higgins has kicked 17.13 in 12 games since crossing from Richmond and sits second behind Tim Membrey (18.18) on the Saints' goal-kicking leaderboard this season.

"Jack's had a good impact at our footy club straight away and he's going to be a good player for a long time," Ratten said.

"He just didn't have the finish that we would've liked or he would've liked (against Sydney)."

Higgins' wayward goal-kicking sparked a series of headlines calling the 22-year-old 'Missy' Higgins, in reference to the famous Australian musician.

St Kilda took umbrage to that treatment, with chief operating officer Simon Lethlean calling the AFL's own website to debate the topic.

Young key forward Max King also came in for criticism from past players Garry Lyon and Jonathan Brown over his quiet display, where he had just four disposals.

Ratten later revealed to King was carrying a back injury.

"The players put themselves out there each week and I suppose they're open to criticism," Ratten said.

"That's the game and we're in that space, you could say, but as long as it's even and fair across the competition.

"Max is still a young player that's growing, a second-year player ... and what he did on the weekend was pleasing from the fact where he was struggling to get up to play.

"He played when he wasn't 100 per cent."