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'It's just nowhere near good enough': Scott on Roos' effort

Scott: 'We're really disappointed, we let ourselves down today' After a poor performance from North Melbourne, Brad Scott asks for fans to rally around the players

A "BITTERLY disappointed" Brad Scott admitted after a second hiding inside five weeks – this time to Essendon on Good Friday – that North Melbourne hadn't improved.

That brutal assessment will be a bitter pill to swallow for an already-agitated fanbase that is growing tired of the underwhelming displays. 

The Kangaroos took great delight in compiling a video for their 2019 season launch with harsh critiques of their list that were soon made to look silly, at least last year. 

North went on to win 12 games and fall narrowly short of a shock finals berth before recruiting established players Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard, Aaron Hall and Dom Tyson in an off-season raid.

BOMBERS BLOW ROOS AWAY Full match coverage and stats 

However, Scott's side boasts a single win from five rounds, with an 82-point round one shellacking to Fremantle and a 58-point thumping at the Bombers' hands bookending those results. 

The critics, many of whom targeted the middling nature of the overall playing list, certainly seem justified now. 

Past greats are also lining up to air their displeasure, with dual premiership players Corey McKernan and David King the latest, after Wayne Carey was critical in recent weeks. 

 

"Expectations never concern me, because they're sort of what everyone's opinion is, and I think that you've got to be really careful about judging yourself on external expectations," Scott said. 

"We judge ourselves really harshly internally.

"A lot of last year was based on really hard work and competitive effort and we were able to find a way to win 12 games but we can't replicate that competitive effort at the moment.

"External expectations are one thing but you can probably hear it in my voice, the bitter disappointment in terms of what we produced today, on such a big occasion for the club.

"It's just nowhere near good enough." 

 

Scott said the perception the Kangaroos thought they were ready to take a major step this year wasn't necessarily correct, even after their successful NAB AFL Trade Period. 

He pointed to 2016, when they supercharged the rebuilding process with some ruthless culling that saw club legend Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo depart.

Daniel Wells also elected to leave Arden Street at the end of that season, and there were further significant player cuts at North a year later.

"We made some significant changes to our list at the end of 2016 and it takes time (to regenerate). There are sides that have been rebuilding for 15 years," Scott said. 

"We were not delusional that we were going to bring in some players from other clubs and it was just going to be a quick patch-up of where we were at.

"We rested (top-10 draftee) Tarryn Thomas today and brought Bailey Scott in. Luke Davies-Uniacke (played as well).

"I've said for two years we're trying to rebuild our midfield and, at the moment, that midfield is far too reliant on Ben Cunnington and Shaun Higgins."

 

A theme developing in the Kangaroos' season is an inability to respond when challenged, outside of the victory over Adelaide, when they made hard work of a match they otherwise dominated.

They were meek from the outset against the Dockers, and coughed up respective 22- and 27-point leads over Brisbane and Hawthorn in back-to-back weeks. 

North then went to water in a four-and-a-half-minute period against Essendon, where it conceded four goals and saw the deficit blow out from 11 points to 35. 

"It's been disappointing, because that's what we pride ourselves on as a football club," Scott said. 

"That we are competitive and regardless of the circumstances or the odds (and) that we always fight.

"At the moment, it's just nowhere near good enough on any level. I could talk about all the aspects of the game, but really, it's nowhere near good enough anywhere."

WATCH Brad Scott's full post-match media conference

The Kangas kicked 1.6 in the opening quarter for the second straight week and followed up with 1.5 in the third term as well. 

Jed Anderson, in his second match for the year, had 10 of the side's meagre 43 tackles, while – incredibly – 12 teammates combined for the same number.

Scott also described his players' ball use as "atrocious" and said Essendon "killed" his team on the outside, led by Dylan Shiel, Zach Merrett and captain Dyson Heppell.

"Every measure of the game was poor," he said. 

Full-forward Ben Brown, who was repeatedly outnumbered all day and desperately needs more assistance, joined Scott at the post-match podium and offered no excuses. 

"We've got to take a look at ourselves and I think we've all got to step up now," Brown said. 

"It's been a couple of performances that have been really subpar so far this season and that's not good enough and that's not what we stand for – we've got to improve."

 

As for a message for fans, Scott simply asked for their support.

"This club has, for better or worse, fought its way through really tough situations and our players are bitterly disappointed and our coaches are bitterly disappointed," he said. 

"But now, more than ever, we need people to rally around the players."