‘Pretty dark spot’: Grim reality hits Crows

AFL Rd 13 - Adelaide v Richmond
Matthew Nicks is under pressure. Picture: Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Grim-faced Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks conceded the Crows were simply not good enough and he’s under the most pressure of his tenure with his club’s finals hopes in tatters after Thursday’s loss to injury-depleted Richmond.

Needing a win to keep their faint finals flame flickering, Nicks’ men were largely outplayed on their home ground by a side that was on an eight-game losing streak and had managed just one win for the season.

The shattering loss came just days after chairman John Olsen said he had “no issue” with extending Nicks’ contract for a further two years and piled the pressure on the coach and the club, which is now in a “pretty dark spot”.

“I have mentioned it before, that I am actually in the job because I enjoy pressure. Right now it’s at its highest,” Nicks said.

“We don’t have excuses … we’re not good enough at this point. It can be a really quick turnaround from having great belief.

“Three weeks ago we played a game (against West Coast) where most are saying ‘Hey, this team’s got some confidence’.

AFL Rd 13 -  Adelaide v Richmond
The Crows were disappointing. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images

“So, it can come and go so quickly and at the moment we don’t have any.

“We felt confident at the start of the game, we played some footy throughout this game where it looked like we had it, then post-siren we sit in a pretty dark spot.

“As do a lot of our supporters and our members who came out … they have the right to feel that way; really disappointed in what we’re putting out there.”

Nicks pinpointed an inability to stop opposition momentum during quarters as the key factor in his side’s slump that has relegated playing finals to the realms of mathematical possibility only.

“From a finals point-of-view it’s going to be very, very tough for us, mathematically, to get in there,” he said.

“It’s going to be a tough one for us to turn around.

“We play the top side (Sydney) next week, but we’ll knuckle down now and try to find a way to get back in the form we know we do have in us.”

Nicks, who signed a two-year extension earlier in the season, will come under intense scrutiny after a campaign that promised so much and has delivered so little after 13 games.

AFL Rd 13 - Adelaide v Richmond
Matthew Nicks says his players are lacking confidence. Picture: Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images

But the coach maintains his connection with his players is not an issue.

“We’re still tight and working through what we want to do,” he said.

“Probably the most frustrating part about it all is that we actually have an understanding of it.

“It’s just the ability to get back to where we know we can be.

“But the connection is strong, as it has been right throughout the year.”

Nicks, who has a 33-62-1 record midway through his fifth season in charge, understands fans will be angry as long as Adelaide’s lengthy list rebuild fails to deliver results.

“I completely understand how they feel and we sit in the same boat,” he said.

“We are frustrated, we’re disappointed in what we’re putting out there, and I would ask them just to stick by us.

“It’s a tough time at the moment but stick by us.”