Sport AFL Melbourne coach defends out-of-form Watts

Melbourne coach defends out-of-form Watts

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Paul Roos says he’s surprised about the fuss people are making over Jack Watts.

The Melbourne coach claims to be scratching his head there’s such a big focus on the out-of-form utility, a former AFL No.1 draft pick who has never quite put together a dominant season despite his obvious talents.

Watts gathered 15 possessions including five kicks, four of which were ineffective, in Melbourne’s 31-point loss to Sydney at the MCG on Saturday.

Roos pulled Watts and Jeremy Howe aside at three-quarter time and appeared to give both players a blast.

However Roos played down the incident on Monday and said he’d be surprised if Watts was dropped for Saturday’s clash at Adelaide Oval against the Crows.

“There’s a big fixation on Jack Watts. We don’t have the same fixation on Jack Watts as everyone else does,” Roos told reporters.

We don’t have the same fixation on Jack Watts as everyone else does

“He is a player that everyone talks about.

“It’s certainly strange.”

Asked to assess Watts’ defensive intensity, Roos said his focus wasn’t on one player.

“I just get a little bit surprised that every thing goes back to Jack Watts. We have a lot more problems at this club,” Roos said.

“Wattsy’s form in the last two weeks hasn’t been as good as it was in the first four weeks.

“We’re not in the position of Geelong and Hawthorn that can play 22 form players every week.

“I would think he’d be playing this week. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t.”

Roos says he simply offered encouragement to Howe and Watts.

“You grab two players,” Roos said.

“You say it’s a big last quarter, we need you to get involved.

“I don’t know if it was animated.

“It’s a pretty sad indictment on all of us if you can’t grab a couple of players and talk to them, because that’s my job.”

Ex-forward Watts is still learning about defence, according to Roos.

“There’s heat on everyone who plays AFL,” Roos said.

“Is it unfair? That’s not for me to judge.”

The 17th-placed Demons won’t be able to call upon young key forward Jesse Hogan for at least another two months.

The 19-year-old, who’s yet to make his debut, is still struggling with a back injury.

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