St Kilda banking on youth to bounce back

Coach Alan Richardson (centre) addressing his St Kilda players during a match this season. (AAP)

Saints expect a strong response against Richmond after conducting a frank review of last week's loss to the Lions.

Alan Richardson is confident a player-led review during the week will provoke a strong response from St Kilda against Richmond on Sunday.

And the embattled coach reiterated that he wasn't concerned with his own future, as the 11th placed Saints strive to stay in touch with the AFL's top eight against the strengthened Tigers at Marvel Stadium.

"Anything that fills between my ears is about the team, about the performance and how we can get back on track after last week's game," Richardson said before training at Moorabbin on Saturday morning.

"I don't spend any time worrying about me. I think we all know as coaches, your tenure in the game is based on improvement and performances.

Richardson continued to express pride in his young leaders.

"Early in the week the players did take ownership (reviewing last round's home loss to Brisbane) and that's incredibly pleasing ... (from) what's a young leadership group," he said.

"We came into the year with Jarryn Geary, Dylan Roberton, Dan Hannebery, Tim Membrey and Seb Ross, and for most of the year we've only had two of them (playing). And so they've had to carry a lot of the load.

"They were strong and challenging during the week and that had to happen and I would expect a Saints-like response."

The Saints mentor heralds hope of making the finals.

"It's pretty exciting for this group to still be in the (finals) conversation. We would like to be further advanced, but to still be alive, for all the reasons I've explained, they have done a great job.

While Richmond regain four premiership players, including captain Trent Cotchin, the Saints dropped experienced duo David Armitage and Jack Newnes, who equalled the club record for consecutive games with his 123rd appearance last round.

"The Tigers get a lot of players back and it's a great opportunity for a lot of our younger players to play against premiership players and that's going to be a great challenge," Richardson said, before addressing the absence of Newnes in particular.

"He (Newnes) has been such an outstanding player. His durability and consistency of performance has been outstanding, but he just dropped off a bit from what we want from Newnesy.

"We could have kept him going given that we're pretty young, but he just needs to go back (to the VFL) and find a bit of form and I know he will."

Richardson draws no comfort from the Tigers, who are a game ahead on the ladder, making seven changes for Sunday's crucial clash.

"My son once told me going to a game when we had made six changes, 'good luck, Dad, because, if you make more than five changes, you don't win'. We actually won that day," he said.

Source AAP

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