Saints won’t make Richo ‘scapegoat’
ALAN Richardson has been guaranteed his job for 12 more months despite St Kilda's latest insipid loss to the Western Bulldogs.
St Kilda football boss Simon Lethlean backed in Richardson as he assesses every facet of the football department in a comprehensive review.
He said instead of making five-season coach Richardson the "scapegoat", the club would surround him with more resources.
But he demanded better performances from the club's on-leadership, who he said needed to have more impact out on the ground.
The Saints fell away terribly in the third quarter against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night, slumping to a 35-point loss and have only four wins in a year with finals aspirations.
Lethlean made clear on Sunday that the Saints would back in Richardson, who is contracted for two more years.
"My view and the club's view is Richo is taking us forward and we have to make him the best coach he can be," he said.
"We think he's the guy. We require new voices in the coaching areas to support and guide the program and need our players to be more competitive.
"If we do all that we are confident Richo has the capacity to improve our performance.
"But we have to be better and we have to get new voices and new people.
"It's not all about coaching, the players need to take responsibility and work harder and look at themselves as to why they can have good and bad patches in games.
"The leadership needs to look at itself too. Who digs deep and who stands up?
"You have to show onfield leadership to turn things around when things aren't going well and that wasn't there last night."
The Saint have already told forward coach Rohan Welsh and midfield coach Simon McPhee they will be moved on at season's end.
It will look for new voices in development and tactics, but Lethlean said he had seen enough in Richardson to have faith in him.
Richardson has an elite development background, but has only one winning season in five in charge with a 69 losses from 108 games coached.
"I am see enough in Richo, in his long history in coaching, in the way he educates our players, in the way they play for him when they are doing what he asks of them.
"I see that first hand so I know he is the right man to lead this group he started off with.
"But all good coaches need support, need tactical nous, extra leadership onfield and young players to step up. The coach can't do all that.
"We are going to support him, not look to blame him and get the best people around him."
Lethlean said some players had three weeks to prove their worth, saying they would also have their "feet to the flame" if they couldn't lift.