Eade says Richardson is gone at Saints

Roger Vaughan and Steve Larkin
Rodney Eade believes under-fire mentor Alan Richardson is a dead man walking at St Kilda

Alan Richardson's future as St Kilda coach is on a knife edge, with AFL commentator Rodney Eade adamant that his papers are stamped.

But Saints legend Nick Riewoldt is not so sure, saying four more wins this season might be enough to save Richardson.

Acting captain Seb Ross said the Saints coaches had left the players to lead the review after Saturday's loss to Brisbane and added they have plenty of improvement in them.

Richardson had earned plenty of plaudits for St Kilda's season so far, particularly given their shocking run of player injuries and illness, but the Lions mauled them at Marvel Stadium.

Brisbane blitzed the Saints in the third term with nine goals to one on the way to a barnstorming 56-point win.

It was St Kilda's worst performance this season, given the 70-point loss to Port Adelaide in Shanghai was blighted by illness among the players and coaches.

On Sunday, Saints football boss Simon Lethlean repeated what president Andrew Bassat had said last week - that they are yet to beat a top-eight team this season.

Lethlean went a step further in his radio interview, saying they needed to start beating teams around them and for the team to keep improving if Richardson is to keep his job.

But Eade, who coached Sydney, the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast, is worried about the narrative.

"The narrative is not great. He is being lined up and I would think internally that his papers have been stamped," Eade told RSN radio on Monday.

"I feel for Richo because having been in that situation myself, it's a blood sport.

"For the media to start it a couple of weeks ago, there is no doubt they have spoken to people internally, that is how it works.

"So that is the feeling, that it (Richardon's removal) will probably happen at some stage which is unfortunate."

Eade is a fan of what the Saints have done this season.

"Realistically, some people picked them to finish bottom and certainly in the bottom two or three," he said.

"And to win six games - some people didn't think they were going to win six for the year.

"It will be interesting to see what happens, hopefully for his sake they don't fall off a cliff."

Riewoldt is more hopeful about Richardson's chances.

"I reckon he needs to get to 10 wins. I think it gives him a fighting chance," Riewoldt told SEN on Monday morning.

"I think his growth as a coach has been pretty evident this year. I think they've over-achieved."