Star Melbourne defender Steven May has stood by his post-season jab at Collingwood, labelling the subsequent backlash he received "pretty crazy" considering the Pies' premiership triumph.

May's Demons were bested by the Magpies in their nailbiting qualifying final, with Collingwood going on to achieve the ultimate glory against the Brisbane Lions just weeks later.

However, after Melbourne's season officially came to a close following a straight-sets exit at the hands of Carlton the next week, May boldly declared the Dees "should have smoked" the Pies during comments made at Melbourne's best-and-fairest event.

May, who also stated his Demons are "so much better" than Craig McRae's flag brigade, reflected on those raw comments Thursday, attributing them to his "belief".

"You want to have that belief and I'm a bit like that," May said on Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse via Seven.

The 31-year-old defended the intimate nature of his comments, explaining that they came at a club event during which he was addressing Demons fans and teammates.

"I wasn't having an interview at the time with [the media], I was speaking to our Melbourne members and my teammates," he continued.

"[I] probably could have chosen some better words, but the backlash was pretty crazy considering those guys all got a medal around their neck and are loving life and I'm in Japan after going out in straight sets."

Premiership teammate and skipper Max Gawn, who was also enjoying Thursday's Oaks Day festivities, expressed optimism in his club's ability to "get through" adversity, particularly following Melbourne's turbulent off-season that most recently included the revelation of Joel Smith's illicit substance indiscretion.

"I feel like with adversity hopefully we can get through stuff like this," Gawn added on Thursday.

"Obviously I agree we [have] got to have some conversations. Our culture, in a way, has been relatively successful in the last three or four years, but there [are things that have] happened.

"We need to have a conversation, we need to talk about it and make sure we can all get on the straight and narrow, and hopefully with this adversity comes a fair bit of greatness."