GIANTS veteran Matt de Boer has defended coach Leon Cameron after a woeful loss to Fremantle, insisting his embarrassed AFL team will heed the lessons of a frank review.
The GIANTS suffered a 31-point defeat to the Dockers in Perth, logging their first 0-2 start to a season since 2013.
Cameron is contracted to coach the GIANTS until the end of 2022, having only signed a two-year extension some seven months ago.
But he has copped the bulk of criticism directed at the expansion club in recent days, including speculation about his future.
"With respect, it can be lazy journalism at times," De Boer told AAP.
"Leon is our coach and nobody works harder or cares more for the playing group.
"He's been very stoic. After the game, all the leaders were frustrated as well, and he handled it all extremely well.
"We're right behind him. We, as a leadership group and a collective, need to lift.
"We're all on the same page ... we need to get back to our brand of football that we established, especially in 2019."
Things will not get any easier for the GIANTS in Canberra on Sunday night, when they tackle an undefeated Melbourne.
Prized recruit Jesse Hogan is not expected to return as he continues to recover from a quad injury.
There were several concerning elements of the GIANTS' capitulation at Optus Stadium, including a contested-possession count that went 145-113 in Fremantle's favour.
The GIANTS reviewed footage of their worst round-two moments on Tuesday when the leadership group, headed by captain Stephen Coniglio, also debriefed.
"He (Coniglio) was very impressive. The first one to speak, the first one to display ownership of where he would like to get better and what he expects from me and the other leaders," De Boer said.
"There was some shocking footage that boys won't be proud of, which needed to be seen.
"There were some embarrassing moments that just aren't us, that was the most disappointing thing.
"A few honest conversations, which are always good - especially early in the season."
This weekend will mark the first AFL game at Manuka Oval in 600 days, with the venue overlooked throughout 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's a home away from home," De Boer said.
"The Dees are up and about. It'll be a good test and a chance to respond and show what we're all about.
"I'm really confident that our leaders and our playing group will respond."
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