BRAD SCOTT admitted North Melbourne was its "own worst enemy" in falling five points short against Sydney at Blundstone Arena on Saturday night.
It took until late in the final term for the Roos to really kick into gear, but the Swans' five-goal advantage proved a bridge too far, and despite closing to within a straight kick with just over a minute to play, the Roos were unable to seal the deal in the dying stages.
"We're frustrated and disappointed," Scott said.
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"We were disappointed we were still trying to play perfect footy in slippery conditions.
"We had inside 50m dominance and territory dominance, but to Sydney's credit they held up well defensively."
Scott lamented his players' inability to modify their approach to the game when heavy dew set in at Blundstone Arena and made for particularly slippery conditions during the second half.
"You can be your own worst enemy at times. We tried to overuse the ball and Sydney just played it simple," he said.
"How do I reconcile it? Simple footy for good players is sometimes too easy and when we adjusted it, the game clearly changed."
With just two wins from nine to start 2019, the Kangaroos appear destined to miss out on finals footy, but Scott rejected the notion the club's attention would turn to putting more games into young players during the rest of the season.
"We're all about development, so it wouldn't change if we were 7-2. For three years now we've said we need to build our midfield.
"We've got to develop those young players and that would be irrespective of win-loss.
"The balance was OK tonight and it will continue."