MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 28: Paddy McCartin of the Saints marks the ball against Caleb Marchbank of the Blues during the JLT Community Series AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the St Kilda Saints at Ikon Park on February 28, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Former St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt has urged his old club to stick with Paddy McCartin despite his recent form woes.

The former pick one has struggled in the opening three rounds of the season, having only kicked one goal.

And while McCartin is not applying pressure on the opposition, the big man is somewhat of a liability to the team.

But St Kilda’s beloved ex-skipper thinks McCartin’s form can be attributed to his team’s poor play.

“Not even Wayne Carey would’ve got a kick in the forward line in the past two weeks,’’ Riewoldt told the Herald Sun.

“The Saints had 40 back-half turnovers against North Melbourne — that is a world record.

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“Paddy’s got a part to play in it, no doubt, but I don’t think you get rid of him after two weeks, particularly with no Tim Membrey who is injured.

“I think they have to keep playing him, absolutely.”

McCartin has copped the lion’s share of criticism towards the Saints’ lacklustre 1-2 start to a season where many tipped them to be playing finals.

A type one diabetic, his match fitness has been questioned, including his ability to work up and down the ground effectively.

Saints coach Alan Richardson could not guarantee McCartin would line-up this weekend against Geelong.

A loss to the Cats this weekend would make it improbable that St Kilda features in this year’s finals. The round four clash takes place this Sunday at GMHBA Stadium at 4:40pm (AEST).

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