Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says the Demons are united and won't respond to widespread criticism of their poor early-season AFL form.
Melbourne have dropped three players amid five changes as they try to arrest their slump in the AFL Anzac Eve blockbuster against Richmond.
Brothers Corey and Josh Wagner and Charlie Spargo are the casualties, while Brayden Preuss has a shoulder injury and defender Neville Jetta is out for about 10 weeks because of knee surgery.
Jeff Garlett and Tim Smith will play their first senior games this season, while Jay Lockhart, Alex Neal-Bullen and Billy Stretch were also recalled.
Coach Simon Goodwin called on the Demons to rediscover the elite effort that propelled them last season to a preliminary final.
The Demons have won only one of their opening five games and the criticism is coming from all angles, with former Melbourne coach Paul Roos calling them a bottom-four team.
Goodwin said the Demons are trying, but perhaps not to the level of 2018.
"No one goes on the ground not to try and give effort, we know that, but there's a level that's elite," he said.
"We've been to that level and we need to get ourselves back to that level."
Goodwin said he would not respond to the inevitable criticisms and theories about why Melbourne are struggling.
"There are lots of theories out there, lots of comments," he said.
"We understand that, because we're not playing to the level.
"We know that's coming our way, but we're not going to respond to that - we're a united club."
Goodwin added that there are few secrets about what is going wrong.
"There are some elements that are improving but there are some that aren't," he said.
"I said after the game (against St Kilda) that we're easy to play against - and we were.
"We need to work harder defensively, we need to work harder around the footy and we need to be more efficient when we go inside our forward 50."
While Jetta has had a sore knee, Goodwin said it was a bump during the weekend's match that caused his injury and resulting operation.
The Demons coach said he is looking forward to the massive challenge of trying to regain form against the Tigers, who are coming off two big wins.
"We get back on the horse in a great environment; Anzac eve, a big stage, a big club we're up against in Richmond," he said.
The embattled Goodwin added he is coping personally with the task he faces.
"It's a new thing for me as a coach and I'm actually relishing this," he said.
"You learn a lot about yourself as a coach."