Struggling Adelaide forward Taylor Walker has been spared the AFL axe with coach Matthew Nicks backing his “warrior” ex-captain to find form.
Nicks admits Walker’s selection was discussed when the Crows picked their side to play Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday.
Walker has taken just five marks in three games this season as the Crows have sunk to the bottom of the ladder with three consecutive defeats.
“There is obviously questions about our form, Tex (Walker) is part of that,” Nicks told reporters on Friday.
“We’re not hiding from the fact our form is not good enough.
“He is a really important leader for us so he’s going to be under scrutiny, we understand that.
“We wanted to back him in but we’re not going to hide from the fact that we had conversations earlier in the week about how we can help him, how the team can help him.
“Like a lot of our players, we’re looking for some form. We’re looking to find our mojo.
“Tex is one of those … and I know he will fight back. He’s a warrior.”
The Crows will give an AFL debut to 25-year-old forward Shane McAdam while Nicks signalled a reshuffle in his misfiring midfield.
“Our midfield is going to look substantially different,” he said.
“We will look a little younger around the footy, we will have a different mix of players there … we want to get that intensity in and around there and really compete.”
The Crows and Nicks, enduring a horror start to his career as a head coach, have copped withering criticism for their meek displays this season – they have suffered record losses to Port Adelaide and Gold Coast since the season restart.
“We’re not performing, so the scrutiny is warranted,” Nicks said.
“We need to perform at a level that is higher than where we’re at.
“And that has got nothing to do with win and loss. That is our level of performance at this point is not up to scratch.
“We’re really disappointed that we have to go through that but we have to accept it.”