Five-time premiership star Dermott Brereton has defended Bernie Vince in the wake of the Demon’s latest suspension.
Vince was handed a one-week ban, increased to two given his poor record, for striking Crows’ dynamo Eddie Betts in the side's loss to the Crows. The Dees’ tagger was also fined $1000 for making forceful contact with Richard Douglas.
“I’ve heard people say there is an issue at Melbourne, but I don’t mind if players are playing on edge, they cop their whack and they get suspended,” Brereton told SEN’s The Run Home.
“Really there are bigger fish to fry in our game. He hurts his team but I don’t think it’s a massive problem for Bernie or the Demons."
Melbourne great Garry Lyon said if Vince was not suspended he’d be in danger of being dropped after struggling to impact in recent weeks.
The 31-year-old has failed to top 20 disposals in six of his past eight matches after failing to do so only three times from 21 appearances last season.
Currently seventh on the ladder with nine wins, the Demons face a huge clash on Saturday against fourth-placed Port Adelaide at the MCG.
A loss, and wins by St Kilda and Essendon, could see Melbourne drop outside the top eight.
Co-skipper Jack Viney and key ball winner Dom Tyson are rated some chance to return and bolster a midfield that has struggled in recent weeks.
Port Adelaide has won seven of its past eight matches against Melbourne.