Finals-focused Crows trying to put past behind them

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06: Darren Milburn the assistant coach of the Crows looks on during the round 10 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Adelaide Crows at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 6, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06: Darren Milburn the assistant coach of the Crows looks on during the round 10 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Adelaide Crows at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 6, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) Quinn Rooney

ASSISTANT coaches are sometimes the forgotten men of footy - when they're not in the running for a vacant senior coaching job. And upheavals at footy clubs can hit just as hard on them as they do on the players.

Adelaide assistant Darren Milburn saw his good mate and fellow former Geelong defender Brenton Sanderson get axed from the top job last year, before suffering through the tragic death of his replacement Phil Walsh.

"I can't say it's been easy," the 292-gamer  told APN.

"I guess with Sando, that's part of the footy world ... we've seen that with Hirdy (James Hird) as well. You never know what's going to happen around the corner.

"You've just got to try and focus on how the team is going ... concentrate on the footy.

""there is a light a the end of the tunnel."

The Crows certainly have a job to do - maintain the spot in the top eight they have worked hard for in the wake of Walsh's passing two months ago.

A finals berth could ultimately hinge on a final-round clash at his old stomping ground in Geelong.

Both the eighth-placed Crows (46 points) and ninth-placed Cats (42) face the prospect of being level on points going in after abandoning their round 14 match.

Before that, however, beating Brisbane at Adelaide Oval tonight is a must.

"We know which sides we're playing but we don't want to look too far ahead," Milburn said.

"With AFL, you only have to be 5 or 10 percent off your game and the bottom sides can  beat you   "We don't want that to happen."

The Lions, who have regained goal-sneak Josh Green and are coming off an 11-goal win over Carlton that ended an 11-match losing streak, pushed the Crows in their previous clash at the Gabba in late June - Walsh's last match in charge.

"They were three or four goals up at three-quarter time and probably should have beaten us," Milburn added.

"We know what they're capable of. If we let them play their style ... they'll push us right to the edge.

Brisbane will be fired up too after explosive rumours of discontent among the playing ranks over the leadership style of captain Tom Rockliff were raised by reporter Damien Barrett on Thursday night's Footy Show.

Rockliff immediately tweeted: "Why doesn't Barrett have the balls to call me and chat instead of making s**t up", and was backed by teammate Ryan Lester who tweeted: "Missed the mark on that one".



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