Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks has apologised to Crows fans after his side was smashed by North Melbourne in the battle of the two bottom of the ladder teams on the Gold Coast.
The Crows remain winless in 2020, and will now go a calendar year without a victory, after being embarrassed by the Kangaroos – who scored an AFL season high 119 points against them to smash them by 69 points.
The Crows again got smashed in clearances (20-35) and let the Roos have 85 uncontested marks in a game that resembled a North Melbourne training session at times.
Nicks said his side had far too many players playing as individuals.
“I love our people, I love our staff, our players, our coaching group but we took a big step backwards,” he said.
“I’m sorry to our supporters, we weren’t at the level, we were nowhere near the level.”
“We are playing AFL level.”
In his column for The Advertiser inaugural Crows coach Graham Cornes wrote Nicks needed to stop being “Mr Nice Guy” as the losses pile up for Adelaide.
Nicks said he did bring “the stick” on his players when they needed it, one moment being at the quarter time break.
“It is an interesting one that, I wouldn’t say I am a carrot coach I do bring the stick,” he said.
“It is never an intention for a player to go out and underperform… it is about education and working with these guys to make them a better player.
“We are not going to drop off and get angry at each other. we are going to find a way to get better.”
At halftime Nicks was captured on video moving water bottles and banana’s around in a bid to get his players to play they way he wanted them and not “randomly”.
The Crows’ woes started at 5.30am on Saturday when former captain Taylor Walker rang Nicks to inform him he had gastro and couldn’t fly to Queensland.
Young ruckman Kieran Strachan came in for his debut, despite Darcy Fogarty being named as an emergency and an obvious replacement for Walker.
But Nicks said Fogarty was not fit to play, and didn’t even travel to the Gold Coast, he was only listed as part of protocols required for the young forward to contact train as he comes back from the shoulder injury — which Nicks said had turned out to be a lot worst than first thought when it forced him to miss Round 4.
“Initially we thought he might miss a week or two. it is one of those shoulders that has been a really tough one to get back from,” he said.
Fogarty is expected to miss the clash with Melbourne on Wednesday but Tom Doedee could be back.