Suns feeling the pressure: Swallow
DAVID Swallow says the Suns are feeling the pressure building from both in and outside of the club as Gold Coast look to pick up the pieces of another horror season.
The Gold Coast midfielder said he was left shattered as he struggled to put into words the fourth-quarter performance that started with the Suns up by 31 points and ended two down by the final siren against St Kilda on Saturday at Metricon Stadium in front of 10,181.
"They beat us in the contest the whole game but I think the first three quarters our pressure was really good," Swallow said.
"We were able to counter off half back and we used the ball quite well. Every time we were going into the forward 50m we looked dangerous.
"But they gave it all in that last quarter and I'm a bit lost for words, I'm shattered.
"The pressure got to us a bit and we lacked that bit of composure."
Gold Coast have scored just two points in the final term of their past four games, going what would be the combined length of an entire game without kicking a goal.
It's a damning statistic for a side that has lost the past seven games and Swallow said the players were feeling the pressure.
"It's not ideal," Swallow said.
"You want to be playing four quarters of footy and at the moment we are not being able to do that.
"The pressure is there. The expectations are quite high, especially internally we expect a lot better.
"We are really trying to build things right, especially with (Stuart Dew) on board this year.
"I think we have shown, not consistently enough, the way we are trying to play and it does work when we get it right.
"We will keep working at that. We just have to keep on going, it's all we can do."
The final-quarter fade-out overshadowed a promising opening to the game for the Suns who came out firing after weeks of criticism.
Captain Tom Lynch showed no signs of his lingering knee issue, running strongly, taking pack marks and flushing his kicks on the way to scoring three first half goals.
The youngest Suns including Charlie Ballard, Callum Ah Chee, Jack Bowes, Ben Ainsworth and Jack Leslie influenced the contest while recruit Lachie Weller was having his best game since arriving from Fremantle.
But the Suns, who have been so bad in the late stages of games, knew a St Kilda side who have been finishing strongly would go to the end.
"We knew they would keep coming, they were just as hungry to win as we were," Swallow said.
"We knew it was going to be on. They were probably given it all offensively and they had nothing to lose.
"I don't know if we went into our shells a bit because we were trying to save the game or what but the message at three-quarter time was to keep going, keep fighting an grind it out. We were hoping to get a win but it didn't happen."