GEELONG might be a game clear at the top of the competition, but coach Chris Scott has a warning for his team.
The Cats made it nine wins from 10 matches with a grinding 27-point victory over Gold Coast on Saturday night, but the pesky Suns highlighted a deficiency or two, and it didn't escape Scott.
Gold Coast matched Geelong's intensity around the contest before running out of legs in the final term, but beat up on the Cats at stoppages, winning the clearance count 55-40.
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Almost halfway through the season, Scott isn't satisfied.
"I've heard we're up there with the best teams in the comp and I guess by ladder position that's probably right, but it doesn't really feel like it to us," he said.
"That's not necessarily being pessimistic. We're 10 rounds in, there's a lot of footy to be played, we think we've got a lot of improvement left in us.
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"My old coach Leigh Matthews used to talk about this as the qualification stage.
"If you get too happy with where you're at at round 10, you can get a pretty rude shock when it really counts."
In the absence of superstar midfielder Patrick Dangerfield, Scott said he was happy with the work of youngsters James Parsons, Tom Atkins and Jordan Clark.
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"We're happy with the win. We expected it to be tight," Scott said.
"The positive part for us is at three-quarter time, two points the difference, we had a few problems … the players responded."
On a big day for the Scott family, Chris said he had not spoken to his brother, but hoped he'd handle himself just like Brad had if put in a similar position in his coaching future.
Brad will hold a press conference on Sunday and will almost surely announce his departure as North Melbourne's coach after a tumultuous 48 hours.
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Chris said he was reluctant to elaborate too much on his brother's situation until he knew the full details.
"I saw a little bit of it and I think it’s what I would aspire to do in a similar situation.
"From what I saw, and I didn’t see all of it, he talked about putting the club first, handling things with good grace and humility and professionalism.
"I guess I would reflect a little bit on what it’s like finishing as a player.
"We encourage our players to think hard about how they’re going to handle themselves in difficult situations, and also remind them it’s going to be harder than you think.
"I don’t really know the situation, but it seems to me that there’s an amicable parting of ways.
"I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often with professional sporting clubs."
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Scott said he talked a lot with his brother and had a hunch something like this was coming, although with no idea on the timeframe.
"Did I have an inkling? Over time I did, but I didn’t have anything specific," he said.
"I don’t want to comment on things I don’t know about. I very rarely comment on opposition coaches, much less my brother.
"If I do I prefer to have all the information, and I’ve only got a snippet at the moment, so I’ll wait."