NRL great Corey Parker has called out Craig Bellamy after the Melbourne Storm coach took aim at his players following the club's fourth-straight loss.
Bellamy turned the blowtorch back on his players on Saturday night after their 24-12 loss to South Sydney, which saw the Storm drop out of the top four.
Not since 2015 - the same year they last lost four consecutive games - have Melbourne been as low as fifth on the ladder so late in the season.
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The club's miserable run has been so bad that even three-time premiership-winning coach Bellamy admitted he hasn't got faith their season can be salvaged.
"I'm not confident I can turn it around," Bellamy said in his post-match press conference.
"I come in here saying the same thing every week.
"We had some good effort but there's some stuff that you're not going to get away with at this level and you'll pay a price and that's what we've done in the last couple of weeks."
The loss to Souths followed defeats to Manly, Cronulla and Canberra in successive weeks.
Bellamy has questioned his side's commitment in defence but his cause hasn't been helped by injuries to Ryan Papenhuyzen, Christian Welch, Reimis Smith, Tepai Moeroa, George Jennings and Xavier Coates.
“These guys have gone out and we pick a team and we don’t want injuries obviously, but we have got guys in our team and we don’t pick them up off the street," Bellamy said.
“They have been playing footy for a fair bit and they need to go out there and catch the ball and pass the ball and make their tackles.
“For parts of our game we can’t seem to do that. Other times we do it well, but we are just not playing a consistent game for 80 minutes. If we got 65 minutes that would be an improvement on what we are doing at the moment.
“That doesn’t stop you from making your tackles and catching and passing the ball.
“Tonight we give a penalty away early and that’s how it is, but then he could have walked over in the corner. It was a minute and a half, so we are not fatigued then.
“It is those moments that are really hurting us at the moment.”
Corey Parker stunned by Craig Bellamy comments
Bellamy said it was up to players on the filed to turn their season around.
“You have got to make it happen and the only way you do that is through hard work,” he said.
“We are probably at the crossroads at the moment. We have got to decide whether we want to turn left or turn right.
“With all due respect the players will make that decision.”
Bellamy's post-match comments left Parker stunned, with the Brisbane Broncos great saying he thought the coach was a bit "too honest".
“If he looked at that again he may have chosen his words differently," Parker said on Fox League.
“They are legitimately at a crossroads and he mentioned those words as well.
“They don’t know where they are going at the moment.
“Listening to Jesse Bromwich talk about milestone games. You could never beat Melbourne on a milestone game.
“They never really looked like they were going to challenge South Sydney.
“Defensively they are at sixes and sevens. They are brittle at best. If you apply a little bit of pressure or get a repeat set on the Storm at the moment you will crack them.
“That's what other teams will be talking about. Over the last month they have been able to bend and crack.
“That is completely against the Melbourne fabric that we know.”
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