Season-defining AFL stretch for North

North Melbourne caretaker coach Darren Crocker admits his month at the helm will shape the AFL club’s sputtering season.

Crocker dispensed with the cliches on Thursday when asked about the next three games before the bye, which coach Brad Scott will miss due to back surgery.

The Kangaroos were one win away from reaching the 2014 grand final, but sit 13th on the ladder and face in-form West Coast in Hobart on Sunday.

“Our season is on a knife’s edge and we need to resurrect it,” Crocker said.

“It is season-defining.

“But we’re really confident that our best football can hold up against the best.

“We need to really get on the front foot and start showing the footy world what we’re capable of..

“We’ve done a lot of talking, now it’s time for some actions.”

Crocker is no stranger to his new post, having coached the ‘Roos in 10 games when Dean Laidley resigned in 2009.

But the man who played 165 games with North noted the two situations couldn’t be more different.

“Back then we didn’t have a senior coach, I was auditioning for the role,” Crocker said, adding that he had no interest in the vacant Carlton job.

“Now I’m sitting in the chair and keeping it warm for Brad.

“You won’t see any change in style. Hopefully you’ll see us tighten up some of the things we haven’t done well in the first part of the season.”

Crocker spoke to Scott on Wednesday night regarding the 22 that should be selected for the weekend.

He expects to have plenty of conversations with Scott over the next month, with the exception of next week.

“We’re going to let him really recover well, so he probably won’t have a lot to say next week,” Crocker said.

“I’ll be in close contact with Brad while he recuperates from his operation.

“But it’ll be a real team effort while he’s not here.

“We’ve got tremendous staff and the leadership group is keen to step up as well.”

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