‘‘As a club we want to remain calm and know what we need to execute in that moment,’’ he said.
‘‘I thought the players handled that situation really well, obviously being a goal down with 50 seconds to go.
‘‘It’s very easy to drop your bundle, but they stuck to what they knew they could do and they execute it. That’s what we’re most proud of.’’
Melbourne had been a goal down with just 50 seconds to play, but Marty Hore, in his sixth game, slotted a goal with 18 seconds remaining. Ruckman Max Gawn helped surge the ball forward again.
The last seconds saw a flurry of attempts to score by the Demons, with forward Tom McDonald kicking a ball into the post with one second on the clock.
‘‘Gold Coast are a much improved side, they play the right way around the contest and defensively. Obviously we were proud to get a win in the end, they stuck together,’’ Goodwin said.
‘‘In the last two to three weeks, we’ve really focused on establishing ourselves in what we stand for, and that was around the contest and in defence. And once again that was really sound tonight. So we’ve started there, as a club, to re-establish ourselves in those phases, but we know we’ve still got a lot of work to do.
‘‘Throughout the whole night, we could have got frustrated with the amount of inside-50s we had and the lack of score, but they hung in, our boys, and got the job done.’’
Suns coach Stuart Dew was upbeat, pointing out that five of their eight matches to date had been decided by less than a goal.
‘‘Sometimes you get a kick in the guts, sometimes you sing the song,’’ he said, before adding wryly: ‘‘AFL footy.’’
‘‘There’ll be a time when it’s reversed and we get the result because of it. I’m sure it was exciting to watch.’’ Dew said he had given the same message to his players.
‘‘They’ve got to remember that three times this year we’ve been on the other side of it, so we’re not immune to close losses. You want to be in the game in the last minute. You’ve only got to look at last year’s grand final.
‘‘But the message is our whole aim this year is to lay a competitive foundation, and bar two results, I think we’ve done that.
‘‘Last week against the remaining premiers, preliminary final side tonight – we pushed them to the end.’’