NORTH Melbourne coach David Noble has called for calm while throwing down the gauntlet to his players for an immediate response after the Roos were dealt a 128-point hammering on Good Friday.
Noble's side allowed 20 of the final 22 goals to a Western Bulldogs side he compared to an "oncoming locomotive" as the Roos fell to their equal fourth-biggest loss – and heaviest since 1984.
Now with three losses in excess of 50 points to his name from as many games, Noble pointed to Brisbane's recent turnaround – one he oversaw as head of football – as to what the Roos are hoping to achieve.
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"It's not only the players, I think it's our fans … we just need to be calm, we're on a journey," Noble said.
"We understand there's hiccups along the way, and yep, today's a bigger one than maybe what we've had, but I've been through this two or three times before and we need to be really composed on where we're going.
"I think when you play such a well-drilled team like that it becomes overwhelming at a point in time and I think for a younger group that we've got that's a real challenge. Hence you end up with something in the last quarter that is unpalatable but it's understandable."
Hosting Adelaide in nine days' time again at Marvel Stadium, Noble put the onus on his players to bounce back.
"We can't be inconsistent for our fans, we can't be inconsistent to ourselves that we just pick and choose when we want to come and play," he said.
"I'm annoyed, I want to win as I said last week, I'm not here to just have 12 months of development.
"The expectation if you're playing this level of footy, you come to play every single week and if you don't come, that comes with consequences either in selection or at the end of the year."
Jared Polec will head for scans after re-injuring the hamstring he strained during the pre-season, while Jed Anderson will need to prove his fitness after failing to return from an ankle complaint he suffered in the third term.
Key defender Aidan Corr is also expected to be sidelined for another 2-4 weeks with a foot infection that reduced him to crutches pre-game on Friday.
Meanwhile, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge admitted he opened up the forward 50 for Josh Bruce in the last term for the spearhead to boot four of his 10 majors.
Bruce conceded he wasn't fit enough last year and headed for his off-season break to train with former Greater Western Sydney teammate and now St Kilda co-captain Jack Steele.
"Some of the delivery and the way our forwards worked together was quite outstanding," Beveridge said.
"We did clear them out trying to get the 10 late in the game, I don't know if you noticed it.
"I'm ecstatic for him, he's been scrutinised pretty heavily by all and sundry after his year last year. And you know what, he mightn't have kicked a lot of scores last year, but we loved his contest."
The Dogs will be forced into one change for next week's mouth-watering date with Brisbane in Ballarat with Ryan Gardner headed for surgery on the AC joint he injured in the opening 20 seconds of the game.
Beveridge pointed to Buku Khamis, Lewis Young and Zaine Cordy as possible replacements for the key defender as they prepare to face Joe Daniher and Eric Hipwood.