Alex Smout, "It's time to reset"

Canberra was unable to match last year’s premiers on Saturday, leaving them with just four wins from 9 games in 2019.

Alex Smout in action for Canberra. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL

Following the 60-point loss at Frankhauser Reserve, the Demons sit in 6th position on the ladder, and midfielder Alex Smout says next week’s bye provides an opportunity for the group to reset.

“It’s a good time for the boys to get away, go home and visit family,” said Smout.

"Not only from a physical perspective but a mental perspective as well, we get that week off, it'll good to be able to mentally refresh, recharge and reset, because the NEAFL is taxing.

"It's a good standard and you’ve got to bring it every week so to get that mental refresher I guess is invaluable for the back half of the year."

The scoreboard reflected a major shift in the contest after the main break, with Smout saying his side forgot how to play there brand of footy.

“They are a really good side, they structured up well behind the ball, which obviously made it hard, especially for our game style," Smout said.

"We want to get it in quick, get it in long and get our forwards out one-on-one, but they countered that and were able to intercept mark and really drive the ball off half back, and it was something we couldn’t rectify."

It was a similar tale for Canberra on Saturday, lacking class in the forward half of the ground, with the Demons again wasteful with their entries inside 50.

"There has been glimpses where our forward entry has been really good, and obviously there has been times where it hasn’t been so good," Smout said.

"I just think when entering the forward 50 we need to lower our eyes and hit up our targets, then alternatively when we are going long and deep we get the ball to ground and have our pressure forwards swoop on it and making sure we lock it in."  

Although the Demons continue to work on the basics of their game, Smout is fully aware of what is causing his side's downfall.

“We win the contested ball, but we just can’t hit up forwards," he said.

"Our fundamentals essentially just let us down.

"I think the boys will be raring to go not only this week but into training next week, I’m sure there are already some blokes eager to get out there next Saturday and make amends for the weekend."

Canberra will look to refresh over the next week and get back on the winners list when they return to Manuka Oval for the first time since 2018 in Round 12 against the Sydney Swans.

"It (Manuka Oval) is the home of football in the ACT and I think it is a selling point for our club, I wouldn't be the only one saying I’m excited, hopefully we can get a few fans there and fill some seats, but we love it there so I’m rapt to go back. 

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