St Kilda coach Lyon cops 'valid' criticism on the chin

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon concedes the criticism directed at him and his players is valid, saying it's time for the group to respond with action.

The Saints (3-6) slipped to 14th on the AFL ladder following last week's shock five-point loss to lowly Hawthorn, with Lyon swinging six changes in response.

St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt took particular aim at Max King after the  loss, saying the Saints spearhead was "one-dimensional" and lacked "forward craft".

King has kicked 9.8 across six games this season, with St Kilda's average of 74 points per game ranking them 14th in the league.

St Kilda's Max King (right).
St Kilda's Max King (right) has been accused of being one-dimensional and lacking forward craft.

"We've all got to work on stuff. Is it symptomatic (of the team's struggles)?" Lyon replied when asked about Riewoldt's comments.

"Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Unless you're in the four walls - they're the only real opinions that count, to be honest."

Asked whether King needs to work on his forward craft, Lyon replied: "I think everyone does. 

"I remember Robert Walls, who was one of the great coaches, and (star midfielder) Craig Bradley said to him when he went to Carlton: 'keep coaching me, we all need to keep improving'."

St Kilda's finals hopes now appear shot after losing four of their past five games.

The defeat to Hawthorn was particularly hard to digest, given St Kilda entered the match as strong favourites.

Lyon said his side played with a "mundane-ness", and he's copping the criticism on the chin. 

St Kilda players leave the field.
St Kilda (3-6) have slipped to 14th on the AFL ladder after suffering some disappointing losses.

"We were really disappointed. I knew there would be criticism," Lyon said ahead of Saturday night's clash with Fremantle at Marvel Stadium.

"We were really disappointed with our offence. 

"There were a lot of opportunities left on the table that we were really disappointed with.

"I accept the criticism because it's valid. I've said there was a sameness (about us).

"I'm not perturbed, but all there is (now) is action. Everyone does a lot of talking. 

"We want to develop our young players, we want to get our senior players in good form. We've been spluttering.

"Ideally we'd have another one or two wins on the board and I'd be pretty comfortable with all things taken into consideration."

Lyon has axed Angus Hastie, Jack Hayes and Hugo Garcia while forward Tim Membrey, Liam Stocker and Seb Ross are officially listed as being "managed".

Carlton midfielder Paddy Dow will make his Saints debut with Cooper Sharman, Anthony Caminiti, Zak Jones, Lance Collard and Mattaes Phillipou the other inclusions.

Midfielder Brad Crouch has recovered from a knee injury, but will return via the VFL.

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