North Melbourne star Nick Dal Santo admits the heat is on ahead of Sunday’s AFL elimination final against Richmond.
Dal Santo was in a group of Kangaroos players rested from last Friday night’s loss to the Tigers.
That sparked plenty of criticism and while there was little riding on the round-23 match, the elimination final is massive.
Richmond have lost elimination finals in the last two seasons and North made a preliminary final last September.
“It’s huge, obviously the criticism we have copped after resting on Friday night makes this Sunday very interesting,” Dal Santo told Channel Nine’s Footy Show.
“If we don’t turn up, we’ll cop it again.”
Dal Santo also strongly defended the move to rest players, saying it certainly helped him prepare for the finals.
“We’re in a better position now, I feel … to be able to attack this week’s training and prepare for Richmond,” he said.
“But there’s external pressure, people are going to look and say `is this the right move, the way to go about getting ready for a final?’
“Let’s hope for our sake, that is pays off come Sunday.”