MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 12: Nathan Jones of the Demons (C) looks dejected after defeat during the round 21 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Former Melbourne skipper Garry Lyon says the Demons have not been up to the task on the big stage as the club seeks its first finals berth since 2006.

Speaking on SEN, Lyon said Melbourne were given a lesson by Sydney on how to win when it matters most.

“Sydney got what they deserved because they’re a great footy side who know how to win and know how to be there at September at the right time of the year.

“Melbourne don’t right now. They didn’t handle the occasion, they haven’t handled the occasion and they’ve got two weeks to try and handle an occasion.

“The bottom line is they just don’t handle big occasions.”

Lyon added that Melbourne appeared to lack intensity in during the game, particularly when the Swans were able to kick seven consecutive goals to take control of the crucial clash.

“It was like a practice match when I turned that TV on late in the second quarter,” Lyon said.

“Is this a team that hasn’t played finals for so long, who are in a top four with other teams around them falling over with injuries, and they were just going through the motions.

“I was expecting to see a fight to the death attitude from my side given where they were.

“I saw a passive acceptance of Sydney kicking the ball to whoever they wanted, wherever they wanted, and once again, they gave up seven goals in a row.

“That’s the disappointment right there.”

Comparatively, former North Melbourne champion David King says he is “not worried about Melbourne,” despite the fact that they may miss out on the finals.

King said “all’s not broken” after their nine-point loss to Sydney, meaning they will need to win at least one of their last two games to play finals.

King believes that should the Demons get to September, they will pose a serious threat.

“Melbourne will be a danger to whoever they play,” King told SEN. 

“I still think they’re a wonderfully talented group and they’ve got some assets that the other teams don’t have.

“Their best is as good as Richmond’s and their worst is still good enough to win them games or keep them in games,” King said.

The former Kangaroo said his faith stems from the injuries sustained to other challengers to Richmond’s throne.

“If it’s not Melbourne coming, the injuries to GWS put them under the hammer, West Coast look like they’re fighting out of their division at the moment.

“They’re reasonably healthy,” he said.

King stated that the pressure will be on coach Simon Goodwin and the group, should they fail to reach the finals, making it 12 straight seasons without a finals appearance.

“They have to be making the eight, there’s no acceptance of anything else.

“Simon Goodwin knows that, the playing group know that.”