North Melbourne coach Brad Scott is standing firmly behind veteran AFL forward Drew Petrie as he endures a lean patch in front of goal.
Petrie, 33, has 12 goals from 10 games this season but didn’t hit the scoreboard at all in the Kangaroos’ round nine win over Carlton or last week’s loss to Sydney.
Scott, however, guaranteed Petrie will line up against Richmond in Hobart on Friday night.
“He provides a really consistent baseline level of effort,” Scott said.
“We’ve always said with our forward structure that it’s about the unit itself. As long as the unit is functioning quite well, then we’re not concerned about individual performances within that.
“And Drew gives us that baseline defensive effort that is unrivalled in the competition, so while he’s doing that he still plays a really important role for us.”
While individual goal tallies might not be paramount at Arden Street, Scott backed Petrie to find his touch in front of goal sooner rather than later.
“With forwards, it’s often just a matter of time until the ball falls their way and Drew’s doing a power of work,” he said.
“He’s got all his capability, he’s still a very important part of our forward mix and he’s going to be a really important part of our mix this weekend.”
Scott isn’t so certain Todd Goldstein will face the Tigers, with the All Australian ruckman battling to throw off the effects of a knock to a knee in last week’s loss to the Swans.
Scott will name the 27-year-old in his side on Thursday but admitted he will need to prove his fitness this week.
“I don’t know whether he’ll come up or not,” the coach said.
“You would think he would. When he cops a knock he generally recovers pretty strongly.
“We’ll pick him in our side and probably plan on him playing but we’ll have contingencies just in case.”
Taylor Garner (hamstring) and Lachie Hansen (concussion) will return from injury via the VFL this week, where the Roos have a healthy 18 players pushing for AFL selection.