‘Why not us’: Dees believe in fairytales
MELBOURNE will carry a "why not us" mentality to Perth this weekend as it seeks a first Grand Final berth since the turn of the millennium.
Demon star Christian Petracca said the team had maintained belief in its ability since last summer and been inspired by the success of Western Bulldogs and Richmond in the past two years.
"I guess (it's why not us?) … we know our best footy is good enough," Petracca said.
"The Western Bulldogs (won it) two years ago, Richmond last year … it's given clubs like us who weren't in the finals last year faith. And we're just riding the emotion."
Petracca said that such emotion was fuelling the Demons, who he said were spurred by the excitement of success-starved fans.
"We feed off it," he said.
Melbourne's contested ball work proved its greatest asset in Friday night's 33-point win over Hawthorn - an element of its game that Petracca said the team was keen to maintain.
"We like to keep it a chaos game," he said.
"Obviously we knew they were going to try and slow the game down and take easy marks, which they did really well … we knew once we got the ball into a contested area, we were on top.
"It's what we've planned for the last five years. We're a strong team, we're a strong midfield.
"We like it in that chaos game - those 50-50 contests. But West Coast have got a pretty strong team and are not top two for nothing. It's going to be a good game and I can't wait."
Melbourne had a poor Perth record, losing 17 straight games at Subiaco Oval from 2004-16, but has won its past two games in the west, most recently by 17 points against the Eagles in Round 22.
Petracca said it is "hard" to know whether the team can take much confidence from that win given the likes of Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy did not play, while co-skipper Nathan Jones said it would be considered a completely different game.
Jones said the players would travel separately this week - as it did in Round 22 - with a number of the older ones to fly west on Thursday before being joined by the rest of the team on Friday morning.
"We'll probably go with that again, so a smaller group of us will fly out - mainly the boys with kids and who are a bit older - on Thursday and then the whole team will come over Friday," Jones said on Chan-nel 7.
"We'll have a bit of a run around on Friday arvo and then into the game on Saturday."