BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - MAY 11: Lachie Neale of the Lions runs with the ball during the round eight AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions at MARS Stadium on May 11, 2019 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Kane Cornes believes Brisbane are set to slide down the ladder in 2020, after suggesting he wasn’t convinced by their performances in the finals last season.

Despite finishing in second place on the AFL ladder, the Lions went out in straight sets to both Richmond and GWS at the Gabba, with the Tigers and Giants going on to play out the grand final.

Speaking on SEN SA Breakfast on Monday, Cornes said the Lions could be the biggest movers in 2020, but in the wrong direction.

“Brisbane is the interesting one. I don’t think Brisbane can win the flag,” Cornes said on SEN SA Breakfast.

“The bookies have the Lions on the fifth line of betting, fifth favourite for the flag at $10, but I’m not convinced.

“I was bitterly disappointed in what happened to them in the finals series, going out in straight sets.

“I think they could be the Melbourne of 2019. Great year, get excited, get ahead of yourself, young list, up in Brisbane, the sun is shining. Just take your foot off the pedal a little bit and you get bitten on the backside.

“I don’t reckon Brisbane can win it.”

Those comments got back to the Brisbane camp, with Lachie Neale responding on SEN Summer Breakfast on Tuesday, suggesting Cornes is entitled to his opinion although he doesn’t agree with it.

“First of all, Kane is entitled to his opinion but I don’t think he would have spent too much time in Brisbane and seen the group of players that we have up here,” Neale said.

“From what I’ve seen over the last 12 months and especially the boys coming back (to pre-season training), certainly no complacency has crept in.

“The guys are in career-best nick. Really determined bunch but as we know the AFL is always changing and teams are going to improve.

“I’ll probably put the guys on the hook a bit here but I can’t see that happening with us.”