Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin felt the "veil of negativity" that had long shadowed the club lingered right up until the moment their drought-breaking AFL premiership was secured.
All year, Goodwin had urged the red-and-blue faithful to buy into his vision of a successful team and tag along for the ride.
He repeated the message after comprehensive finals victories over Brisbane and Geelong put the Demons closer to achieving the ultimate success.
Yet, even leading into Saturday night's Grand Final, Goodwin couldn't quite shake the sense he first felt when he walked through the doors as Paul Roos' anointed successor seven years ago.
"Roosy touched on it when he first got to the club, he spoke about the veil of negativity," Goodwin told Fox Footy on Monday night. "There was just a feeling around our environment and our club where our supporters were waiting and almost expecting the club to fail.
"It's taken a long period of time for us to change the perception and to understand what it takes to win and what building a winning culture looks like.
"Even throughout the finals, the supporters were so happy with where we were going as a footy club and so proud of the boys, but until you actually get to that final day and you get the result, there's always that level of doubt."
The doubt appeared justified mid-way through the third quarter in the grand final, when Marcus Bontempelli's third goal gave the Western Bulldogs a 19-point lead.
But Melbourne's now-famous seven-goal blitz in the last 15 minutes leading into three-quarter time reversed the game's momentum and changed the course of AFL history.
"There's a lot nerves and anxiety heading into the finals and there's a lot of nerves heading into grand final day, but I think now we've shifted our culture," Goodwin said. "It's a winning environment, it's a performance environment.
"Our supporters should now go to the footy proud of their footy team, (knowing) that they're going to compete and they're a chance to win every time they play."