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Petracca, Goodwin back Kozzy Pickett’s ‘intensity’ following recent ban for high bump

Jarred Cross -

Melbourne head coach Simon Goodwin says the club will back Kysaiah Pickett to "improve" his defensive approach after his most recent ban for high contact was upheld at AFL tribunal on Tuesday.

Pickett received a one-match ban for a careless conduct on Adelaide's Jake Soligo last Thursday with he and the Dees unsuccessful in attempting to downgrade the charge after failing to convince the panel he was bracing for impact, and not intending to bump, while trying to intercept a handpass.

It's Pickett's third ban for similar incidents in just over 12 months having already sat out their opening match serving a suspension picked up in last year's finals series.

Speaking on Wednesday, Goodwin backed Pickett's intensity in defence and efforts to negate future sanctions have been in the works for some time.

"This isn't the first conversation that we've had (with Pickett)," he said, via AAP.

"He's certainly modified the way he goes about it.

"He's a high pressure, high intensity player, and we love what he brings.

"He has modified what he does...he will continue to improve in that space."

Goodwin conceded Pickett being sat in the stands is not ideal, but commended his "appetite" for working on that area of his play.

It comes after star midfielder Christian Petracca applauded his teammates "intensity" and said Pickett would be "bitterly disappointed" at the result at the Tribunal.

"I don't want him to change the way he plays. I think he plays with an intensity and an edge about him that I as a teammate love playing with," Petracca said on AFL 360 Tuesday.

"His pressure in the forward 50 is awesome. Yes, I would love to have him play week-in, week-out and not be missing with suspension, and that's something that I know that Kozzy would be frustrated with the most.

"I don't want to lose that edge because I love the way he plays. I think he's such an x-factor, such an excitement to the game."

Dees general manager of footy reportedly also defended Pickett's high-octane approach.

"When you get suspended you've got to look at examples where you can get better at it," Goodwin said on Wednesday.

"I think what both Alan and Christian are saying is we love his intensity, the way he goes about his pressure.

"But can you get better at it? And that's what we do.

"You've got to learn from your experiences as you go through, and that's what the best players do."

Pickett will miss Melbourne's blockbuster Thursday night match with Brisbane at the MCG.


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