North Melbourne coach Brad Scott doesn’t care about the numbers game that could pave an easier path to finals football.
He won’t be watching when Melbourne takes on Carlton at the MCG on Sunday, even though a win for the Blues could soothe Scott’s headache a little as his men fight for finals eligibility.
Following a nine-point loss to Sydney in Hobart the Kangaroos are already under pressure.
“It won’t concern me at all – our focus is on winning next week,” he said of the MCG fixture.
“I understand the external interest but, God, it’s a loser’s attitude: ‘gee, I hope we fall into the eight’.”
After a strong start to the season Saturday’s loss in Hobart means the Roos have just three wins from their past 11 games.
“We really want to focus on trying to compete with the best,” Scott said.
“We haven’t finished in the top-four the last couple of years at the home-and-away season but we have by the end of the finals and it’s still our focus to be playing really good footy.”
The Kangaroos meet GWS Giants on Saturday at Etihad Stadium in a high-stakes game.
“What I want to do is get the team into a really good frame of mind so that we’re playing really good footy and we win next week and then we launch an assault on the finals series,” Scott said.
“Everyone else is looking over our shoulder, I understand that, but we’re not.”
The Swans were too strong at Bellerive Oval and finished 12.13 (85) to 10.16 (76) winners, with Scott blaming repeated missed goals for the loss.
However there were some polished performances including Brent Harvey who finished with three goals, two behinds and 32 disposals.
Veteran defender Scott Thompson returned from a groin injury but didn’t even play a whole quarter before being sidelined with ice between his legs.
“I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve started a game with 22 players and haven’t finished with them,” Scott said, naming injury as one reason for the side’s slipping form, along with strong opposition.
“We’ve won 12 games for the season – we would like to have won more by this point.”
The coach is still waiting to learn how many of his seven injured players will be fit for next round.