North have worries ahead of big AFL clash

Brad Scott’s impending whack from the AFL is only one of a number of worries for North Melbourne ahead of their big match against Adelaide.

As the North Melbourne coach and the club brace for Tuesday’s meeting with the league, they also must prepare for the Thursday night match at Adelaide Oval.

The Kangaroos have a short turnaround from Friday night’s fiery match against Hawthorn, an epic clash which they lost by nine points.

Scott said they had already spoken about ensuring that the controversy surrounding his blunder about the umpires would not affect the team.

“We’ve worked really hard to make sure the focus is back to where it needs to be,” he said.

“We had a really in-depth discussion with the whole playing list.

“Again, (we) reiterated what we did well on Friday night and as a club, what we want to stand for.

“We don’t want to go off making comments that are unsubstantiated.”

While North took it up to the Hawks, it is their third loss in four weeks – and all those losses were against potential top-four teams.

Friday night’s result cost them top spot and the Crows are another team in top-four contention.

Also, Adelaide are coming off a bye and North have several injury concerns.

Captain Andrew Swallow (concussion), top midfielder Ben Cunnington (quad) and key forward Jarrad Waite missed the Hawthorn loss.

“Due to the short turnaround, it will be a tough ask for all of them to get up – especially with our policy right at the moment of not risking anyone who’s not 100 per cent,” Scott said.

“That said, all three were pretty close to playing last Friday night.”

Daniel Wells hurt his ankle on Friday night and defender Luke McDonald faces an extended spell after he hurt his hamstring chasing down Cyril Rioli.

Scott said Wells, like the three players who missed Friday night’s game, are in some doubt because of the short turnaround.

But they are optimistic the skilled onballer will be ready.

McDonald definitely is out of action for at least a few weeks.

“It’s serious enough for us to seek a surgical opinion,” Scott said.

“He’s the most pressing concern.”

North took it up to Hawthorn physically and Scott said it was vital they built on that against Adelaide.

“We had a couple of free kicks off the ball, a couple of 50m penalties that cost us goals and we were really disappointed in that,” he said.

“That being said, there were some great examples of physicality that we don’t want to lose.”

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