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Brad Scott says Roos not worried by Macaffer tactics

Tiger mystery, hoodoo gurus and more Nat Edwards brings you all the very latest footy news
Brent Macaffer of the Magpies takes a one handed mark during the 2013 AFL round 01 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Collingwood Magpies at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on March 31, 2013. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Brad Scott hopes umpires will be on the lookout for illegal moves from Brent Macaffer
NORTH Melbourne won't be taking aim at Collingwood tagger Brent Macaffer when it plays the Magpies in a much-anticipated clash at the MCG on Saturday, according to Roos coach Brad Scott.

Macaffer's tactics have been the talk of the week, but Scott says he and his players have not discussed targeting Macaffer "at all".

"If we get too caught up in all that we'll take our focus off what's really important," Scott said at Aegis Park on Wednesday.

"We always talk about supporting our players, but Brent Harvey has been tagged for 360 of his 366 games, so he's used to it.

"Daniel Wells is used to it, so nothing will change for us.

"Macaffer's been doing it really well. I'm not going to get into the debate about the legalities of how he's doing it.

"The reality is that he's kept some really good players down from their usual output.

"We expect him to go to one of our good players, and the umpires will do their job, and we'll make sure we do ours."

Nevertheless, Scott expects the public scrutiny of Macaffer's tactics to force the umpires to pay closer attention to him this weekend.

"I think they're humans, so they've probably got to," he said. "It's going to be pretty hard to avoid.

"But I think it's just another sign of the evolution of the game.

"I remember very distinctly Nathan Buckley writing an article, when he finished playing and went into the media, about how the tagger was dead.

"I was midfield coach at Collingwood at the time, and he made a point of saying, 'There are no taggers anymore.'

"Well, he's changed his mind on that one, obviously."

Scott says star midfielder Jack Ziebell, who has missed the past two matches with a shoulder injury, is a "50-50" chance to take on the Magpies.

North's in-form key defender Scott Thompson is likely to get the big job on Collingwood key forward Travis Cloke.

"While (Cloke) hasn't been at his best he generally saves that for us, so we'll be ready for him," Scott said.

"(Thompson) will definitely spend time on him. We are fortunate that last week Michael Firrito played, and he's played on him before, and Nathan Grima and Hansen and Thompson have all taken their turns.

"That probably tells you that we haven't found the ideal method to contain him. So while he hasn't been in the best form, he's never far away from it."

North skipper Andrew Swallow, who is on the comeback trail from a ruptured Achilles, was out on the training track on Wednesday.

He is a good chance to return via the VFL next weekend.

"He feels ready to go," Scott said. "So that's a real vote of confidence that he wants to play, but the doctor and physio are holding him back a little bit at the moment.

"He feels ready to play, and he brought his boots up to Sydney (last weekend) just in case.

"But he's going to play some VFL footy before he plays AFL."

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol