NORTH Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell will make a timely return against Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday, adamant his battered club is on the right track.
Ziebell has been out of action since round 13 because of surgery on a facial fracture.
He has looked on helplessly as North's losing margin extended to 13 games, topped by last Saturday's 112-point disaster against Geelong.
The Kangaroos have set a record for the most consecutive AFL losses by 40 points or more, ramping up the pressure on coach David Noble.
Long-time North administrator Geoff Walsh has returned to the club in an advisory role amid a review of their football department and Ziebell says he is yet to meet with him.
More immediately, Ziebell insists the Kangaroos are taking the right approach to rebuilding their AFL team.
"It’s a challenging period because we know everyone is working so hard currently to change things and it doesn’t feel like the results are coming away at the moment, but I’ve got full belief in the direction we’re heading as a footy club," Ziebell said.
"I’ve got no doubt in that, so when we sit down with Walshy there’s no doubt there will be things discussed on what we’re doing, how we can do things better."
North will start at long odds against the resurgent Magpies, but Ziebell went as far to say that if the Kangaroos stick to their plan they can win.
They pushed Geelong early and fell away badly after half-time.
But the week after Brisbane towelled them by 108 points in round three - their other 100-plus loss this season - they nearly caused a massive upset against Sydney.
"We're a proud footy club. We don't take to getting beaten by triple figures, no-one enjoys that," Ziebell said.
"We're looking for a response this week ... but we have to just stick to the plan. That's what we did against Sydney.
"Our best is good enough and we can win this game. Then it's about execution."
Ziebell said he had a quick turnaround from his facial surgery and the surgeon gave him the all-clear to play.
"I'm really keen. Watching is probably not my greatest strength as an individual, knowing what the club is going through at the moment as well," he said.
Ziebell and North's AFLW captain Emma Kearney were at Arden St on Thursday to mark the 100,000th person to go through the club's Huddle community program.