North Melbourne Brad Scott remains upbeat and defiant about his AFL team’s prospects, despite yet another deflating loss.
Once again, the blowtorch is on the Kangaroos after Gold Coast upset them by 55 points.
It left North with a 6-7 record in a season where they were tipped to build on last year’s top-four finish.
“Everyone is wrong at times – you guys were all wrong this time last year when you said we were really struggling and then we made the top four,” Scott said.
“You were also wrong when you said a top-four result means we’re going to win the flag this year.
“Now I sincerely hope you’re wrong again right now and we’ll prove you wrong in the second half of the year.
“We have a lot of work to do to get that right, but there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge this year.
“There’s not a person in Australia who would have predicted the current top eight.”
Scott will return to match-day duties on Saturday night against Geelong after back surgery forced him to miss the last four matches.
He said he never wants to go through that again as a senior coach.
“Last weekend in particular was horrific – I have a better understanding of what supporters go through,” he said.
“But I have had a chance to take a one-out, one-back approach and look at the bigger picture a little bit more.”
Scott said one area where North must improve is how they respond when the game is not going their way.
“It’s a good attribute for our leaders to think they have to stand up,” he said.
“But at the moment, they’re going over and above and going outside the way we want to play in an effort to try and change the course of the game.
“So we have to be more consistent in our approach and predictable … and trust that approach will get us back from any position.
“We don’t need to take undue risks, as we did last week.”
While Scott said he is worried about his team, he will not bite at outside criticism of how the Kangaroos are playing.
“I’m not worried about people’s opinions – I think that’s a really important point to make,” he said.
“I worry all the time, I’m worrying 24-7 about what we need to get better at.
“But I’m not going to get caught up in worrying about what someone thinks of us.”
Scott also paid tribute to defender Nathan Grima, who has ended his 86-game AFL career because he needs a third back operation.
“He’s a story of persistence … every coach really regards ultra-competitive people and Nathan is the epitome of that,” Scott said.
“But he won’t be lost to football – he has a really good media career ahead of him.”