GIANTS interim coach Mark McVeigh is standing by his players and his savage post-match criticism of his team after its 73-point thumping in the Sydney Derby on Saturday.
As he prepares to take on his former club Essendon on Saturday at GIANTS Stadium, McVeigh says he won't be making a raft of changes to the GIANTS' team.
That's despite labelling the performance against the Swans as an embarrassment to the club and questioning whether some players had "checked out".
McVeigh, who interviewed formally for the GIANTS job on Tuesday, also listed eight players by name as the only ones who "went to the wall" against Sydney.
But he says he has no regrets over his comments, that there's been no negative responses from players outside the group of eight and that they'll be supported to respond strongly.
"I'd rather if we're going to make a statement, we do it by backing in our players as much as we can," McVeigh said.
"We've got a number of injuries as well but I'd like to back our players and back what we've covered off this week.
"I'd like to back the people that didn't play particularly well on the weekend and give them the opportunity to respond."
As well as standing by the players that let the club down in the 24th Sydney Derby, McVeigh said he was holding firm on his fierce condemnation of their display.
"Absolutely I stand by my comments," he said.
"The thing that allows me to have these strong conversations is my relationship with the players. Anything that's been said, it's not like they haven't heard it before.
"Off the back of it, I've had some amazing feedback from players. It's been a fantastic week to be honest.
"I want this club to be a club that absorbs pressure. And if the pressure comes, we'll see who can stand up.
"We're not going to hide away from our performance, we're going to address it, the spotlight will be on us and we'll see where we end up at the end of the year."
McVeigh's brutal post-derby press conference received a mix reaction from the football fraternity, with some praising his response and his honesty while others claimed that he went too far.
"If the spotlight comes on me, that's fair," he said.
"I respect everyone's opinions in the football world. Some of those negative comments come from people that I respect highly. They're allowed their opinion. I'll coach the way that I think I need to coach," McVeigh added.
The 41-year-old has been backed publicly by senior figures at the club over his scathing derby response and he fronted them on Tuesday with his official presentation to take charge of the club long-term.
"It was a long one. It was fine, it was everything I expected. You can only do your best. Now it's up to the club, they've got things they need to do and you respect the process. I'll just continue coaching the best way I possibly can," McVeigh said.
Co-captain Stephen Coniglio is almost certain to return after being a late omission for the Swans clash.
And despite it looking likely that Tanner Bruhn will return to Victoria at season's end, that will have no bearing on the 2020 first-round draft pick's chances of selection after a strong VFL display on Saturday night.
"Oh God no. We pick the best team to win every week," McVeigh said.
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