Nicks won't give up on winless Crows' AFL finals dream

Frustrated Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks admits his winless side is lacking confidence as their much-anticipated AFL finals hopes hang by a thread.

History is against Adelaide after a horror 0-4 start, the losing streak extended by a 10.18 (78) to 8.15 (63) home loss to Melbourne in the Gather Round opener on Thursday night.

Only one team has recovered from that position to play finals under the top-eight system - Sydney in 2017.

Now in his fifth season at the helm, Nicks is yet to lead the Crows back to September, but he was widely expected to do so this year after an 11-win campaign in 2023.

It is just over a fortnight since Adelaide gave him a two-year contract extension.

Adelaide face another tough assignment when they travel to take on Carlton next week. The Blues will be 4-0 if they beat Fremantle on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.

Nicks says Crows will fight
Coach Matthew Nicks says the struggling Crows will not give up on their fight to make the finals.

"We'll never give up," Nicks said after the loss to Melbourne.

"I know they can perform at a level higher than we are now. I'm confident that we're going to find our way through this.

"Tonight was a small step in a certain area. We've still got a hell of a lot of work to do, but I'm confident in the group."

Nicks saw "glimpses" of the team he wants Adelaide to be against Melbourne, but conceded too many Crows players are still performing below their best.

"What we did have right was a system that we hadn't seen in the first three rounds," Nicks said.

"We got an area of our game back to where it was last year, but unfortunately that exposed some of our execution, and our ball use at the moment looks so clunky.

"That can come off a little bit of a lack of confidence with where the group sits and a bit of pressure that you're under."

Nicks made five changes to his team to take on Melbourne - two of them forced by injuries - and forecast more in the near future.

"We've got to look at our team from a selection point of view and get guys in that are going to be able to play the way we play," he said.

"At the moment it's hard for us. We're working our way through it.

"We've got the players there that can do it. We've shown it. We're not too dissimilar to where we were last year from a list point of view.

"Unfortunately, we've got a few that just aren't at their best."

Nicks is prepared for any heat that comes his way while the Crows are struggling on-field.

"That's understandable, that's performance, and we're here to perform," he said.

"I go to work the same way I talked about our players getting confidence.

"We put our heads down during the week and we work through what needs to improve." 

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store