Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin insists the playing group is united and an off-field incident will help to galvanise them for the rest of the 2022 AFL campaign.
The Demons are priced at 7/4 to win the 2022 premiership, to add to last season’s success, but the culture of the club has been thrown into the spotlight this week.
Players Steven May and Jake Melksham were involved in an incident on Sunday that resulted in the latter needing surgery on his hand.
May has also been suspended for one game and it is the last thing the Demons needed after losing two games on the bounce against Fremantle and Sydney.
They still remain top of the ladder but there have been suggestions it could derail their season. Goodwin says that is not the case and the dressing room is a united group.
"They're united. They're committed to the cause. They know they've made a mistake and we'll learn from it and get better and move forward,” Goodwin said.
"Hopefully in time people will see this as a real galvanising time for us where we've come together as one and continued our pathway forward to what we want to achieve."
Meanwhile Goodwin says May has a lot of making up to do to the rest of the players but has backed him to do just that.
"He's got great standing within our playing group, and he'll continue to do that," he added. "He knows that he's let them down and he's broken some trust within the playing group, and he'll work hard to build that back up.
"But knowing the character of Steven, he'll go about that in the right way.”