St Kilda coach Alan Richardson knows his AFL side will need a fair bit of luck to scrape into the finals.
But the “long shot” will suddenly become a lot more realistic if the Saints defeat North Melbourne on Saturday night.
St Kilda pipped Western Bulldogs by 15 points in round 18, posting three wins on the trot for the first time under Richardson.
They now sit two games below eight-placed North on the ladder but have an ideal chance to bridge that gap at Etihad Stadium in round 19.
“It’s a conversation we’ve already had, albeit a short one after the game, about the opportunity that presents itself this week,” Richardson said.
“An opportunity to stay in this fight as long as we can.
“It’s going to be exciting .. they want to be in this space and this conversation.
“We acknowledge we still need a fair bit of luck but all we can do now is really control what we can control.”
Richardson was impressed with the way his players handled a week of their finals’ hopes being talked up by some pundits.
“For obvious reasons there’s been a bit of noise this week. Really positive noise,” he said.
“It was good for all of us to sit back and watch how the guys coped with that … they embraced the challenge.”
However Richardson wasn’t getting carried with his side’s recent form.
“We know it’s a long shot. We know that we need other teams or another team to potentially not win a lot of games of footy,” he said.
“And they (North) did a really good job (in beating Collingwood by 40 points).”