SYDNEY risks losing its reputation as one of the toughest teams to come up against in the competition if it continues to play "unacceptable" football, according to coach John Longmire.
The Swans' stunning fall continued on Saturday, when they lost to Carlton by 19 points at the MCG to continue their winless start to 2017.
It is a remarkable drop from last year's grand finalists, who, against the Blues, contained 14 members of the side that lost the premiership decider to the Western Bulldogs.
Longmire said his group needed to get back to the basics to turn things around as soon as possible.
"It's unacceptable. We're playing an unacceptable brand of football. It's nowhere near the brand we like to play," he said after the defeat.
"It takes a long time to develop a brand and a reputation as a team and it doesn't take long to lose that. At the moment we're not playing anywhere near the football we can and should play.
"You could probably put your finger on a lot of things. It's an overall competitive spirit to the contest with the ball and without the ball. We're not playing anywhere near the standard that's required to compete on a regular basis at AFL level. It's just not happening."
The Swans have played in three of the past five Grand Finals, and 15 finals since 2012. Longmire wasn't sure if the side's wear and tear over that period was now catching up with the Swans.
"And you have to get to a level of competitiveness regardless of what's happened previously. We've played well for a long time, but what you've done in the past doesn't guarantee you anything in the future. You need to keep that level up."
The Swans have been buoyed by the improvement of youngsters Tom Papley, Isaac Heeney, Lewis Melican and Zak Jones in recent weeks, but Longmire said the Swans don't have many options to choose from at NEAFL level to bring into the side to boost the team.
Sydney is the first team in history to lose its first six games of the season following a Grand Final appearance the previous year, and Longmire said the club couldn't think about the September implications of its form so far this year.
"There needs to be a way back next week. You don't look in this situation to the finals at the present time because that is so far away it's not funny. We need to get better this week," he said.
Key forward Kurt Tippett was a late withdrawal with a hip injury he suffered in the final centre bounce drill at training on Thursday. It is unclear whether the 29-year-old will be back next week.
"We're not sure whether he'll be available next week or not. We just don't know," he said.