Ratten bakes Saints after AFL loss

The Saints slumped to a 12th loss of the season following their 10-point defeat to Carlton.
The Saints slumped to a 12th loss of the season following their 10-point defeat to Carlton.

St Kilda caretaker coach Brett Ratten doesn't think his side's narrow loss to Carlton will hurt his chances of winning the full-time Saints job.

And to prove as much, he served up some home truths to his players in the wake of the 10-point loss.

"I spoke to the players post-game like I was the person in the seat," he said.

"I told them what I thought, and some might not have liked that but that's part of the role.

"The players need to understand that. They don't get let off the hook."

St Kilda looked to be cruising to a comfortable day after peeling off six straight goals in the first half for a 24-point lead.

With Jack Steele on top of his duel with Patrick Cripps, Dan Hannebery improving again and Nick Hind and Tim Membrey looking smart inside 50, the Saints had Carlton's number.

That is, until the error count increased and the Carlton midfield machine got running.

"It was like pulling teeth in second half," Ratten said.

Ratten enjoyed a long playing career with the Blues and coached them for five seasons and three finals campaigns.

He remains smart favourite to return to senior coaching at Moorabbin next season, unless the St Kilda hierarchy turn to another former coach such as Brad Scott or Michael Voss.

"In my five games this is the worst loss we've had ... but I don't think it's going to hinder my chances," Ratten said of Saturday's loss.

The downbeat mood among the Saints compared with Carlton sits in contrast to their win-loss record.

St Kilda has nine wins compared with Carlton's seven, sitting several rungs above them on the ladder.

Ratten will finish his audition for the job with a round 23 trip to the SCG.

Australian Associated Press