MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 11: Kysaiah Pickett of the Demons is congratulated by Christian Petracca and Alex Neal-Bullen after kicking a goal during the round four AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 11, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Melbourne will continue to weigh up their mix in the forward half of the field after a successful opening stint from star midfielder Christian Petracca in attack against St Kilda.

Petracca was a common feature in coach Simon Goodwin's front third in Round 17 as part of an experiment to aid their lacking cohesion in attack, with the Demons kicking 29 goals and 61 behinds in their prior four matches.

The club's Norm Smith Medal winner would rise to the occasion against the Saints and boot 4.0 from his 20 possessions - spending 60% of the game in the offensive half in a new-look attack that consisted of Ben Brown and Jake Melksham.

While the 21-point win wasn't wrought through smooth sailing, the outcome was a positive note for Goodwin's clan after an inefficient past month that has seen their chances of a top-two finish slip away.

Goodwin is now hoping Saturday's efforts were no fluke, with the premiership coach now looking to refine and mould a forward plan that can deliver on a regular basis across the final seven rounds of the season.

"There's been a lot of talk around our efficiency, our inside 50 connection, our ability to hit the scoreboard. That was a step forward," Goodwin said.

"Clearly we didn't get the supply that we would normally get. So that was a challenge from a game perspective, but our ability to hit the scoreboard to be efficient and ultimately win the game on the back of that is something that was really pleasing and it was a step forward with some of the adjustments that we've made.

"It's something that we're going to continue to look at and get better at, whether it be our type of entries, our personnel, our ability with the type of entries that we have. We'll continue to look at what's best for us to continue to improve that phase of our game.

"It's something that we're we're certainly not in denial about. We want to continue to improve that.

"This is a situation that we've been in before in a few years prior. We're looking for our best mix, our best method in that phase of the game. We'll continue to do that and hopefully it comes together in the next few weeks as we head towards the pointy end of the season."

Goodwin is likely to deploy Petracca to a similar mix of forward and midfield action in Friday's clash with Brisbane while struggling small forward Kysaiah Pickett could find himself further up the field.

After recording centre-bounce attendance in seven of his first eight games this year, Pickett has returned to a full-time forward role in his past six appearances; however, his increased workload in attack has only resulted in three goals from his past four matches.

A goalless outing against the Saints raised further concerns around the livewire's role, with Goodwin revealing both Pickett and Petracca could split their time across multiple roles against Brisbane.

"From a personnel perspective we'll continue to play Christian where we think the game needs," the Demons coach said.

"That could be in the forward half of the ground, it could be around the ball at times. One week in it looked better, but we need some more evidence to continue to move forward.

"Our responsibility as a coaching group and coaches is to make sure that we maximise the strengths of our team and our personnel. We'll continue to look at ways to get Kozzy involved in the game and give him more opportunity in certain areas.

"He's a really important player to us and we know he's not far off. He's working incredibly hard and if you work hard in this game and train well the game pays you back. I'm sure Kozzy will be back at his best form shortly.

"Something that we'll continue to work through is how we best get him involved in the game and how he best helps the team. You want him in both areas of the ground at times, similar to Christian Petracca. We need him forward of the ball to help our forward half and at times we'll get him around the pill.

"We'll continue to look at ways that we can get Kozzy into the game, whether it be around stoppage, centre bounce or forward of centre."

Melbourne will have defender Harrison Petty fit and firing in Round 18 following a knock in last Saturday's win that saw the backman subbed out of the contest and requiring scans.

Goodwin has confirmed Petty will train fully this week and retain his role in defence, having avoided serious damage to his ribs.

"He had some scans post-game on his ribs and internally and everything was clear," Goodwin revealed.

"He was just a little bit sore. He'll train fully today, so he's got no issues heading into the game. He'll be right to go in on Friday night against the Lions.

"He's an important player to us an important part of our back half of the ground with Jake (Lever) and Steven (May), so we'll keep those guys going together."

Melbourne will host Brisbane at the MCG on Friday night at 7:50pm (AEST).