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Brad Scott transcript: Round 13

June 17, 2017 10:46 AM

Watch Brad Scott's post-match media conference after North's clash against the Saints.

A full transcript of Brad Scott’s post-match media conference after North’s clash against the Saints

Q: Brad, a big occasion for the footy club tonight. What was the most disappointing aspect?

Scott: The inability to execute what we set out to do and our simple – not even skills under pressure, because St Kilda are a good pressure side and we like to think that’s a cornerstone of the way we play too – you make mistakes under pressure, okay that’s one thing.

But it’s just simple, basic, fundamental skill errors that you should execute, it makes it very difficult to play the way you want to play.

Q: Was it a carryover in some ways from the Richmond game?

Scott: There’s no shying away from the fact we made fundamental errors that allowed the opposition to score really easily. You don’t score yourself and they score on the back of the indefensible. I thought we didn’t defend overly well throughout the night either.

In the end, there’s no question the scoreboard flattered us. It’s a pleasing thing on one hand to be able to fight out the game and keep coming and we always play with the intention to win, not to have an honourable loss and not get scored against a lot.

But the fact is we were never in a winnable position and to St Kilda’s credit they got themselves into a winnable position and held on, and we were never able to trouble them. We’ve got to change some things with the way we train in particular to get our skills back to the level they were earlier in the year if we’re going to compete with the best sides.

Q: Did you handball too much tonight?

Scott: We invited a good pressure side to pressure us and they took the invitation willingly.

Q: So the handballs were attempting to get out of trouble rather than generating attack?

Scott: Sometimes you need to accept the opposition’s pressure is coming at you and keep it simple. We knew what was coming, it wasn’t a surprise but we just didn’t distinguish the really simple, ‘when are you under pressure versus not?’

When we were under pressure we invited more pressure and they accepted the invitation.

Q: That seems to be becoming a trend, you’ve kicked the ball a lot more than you’re handballing in your wins and when you’ve lost you’ve fallen into that trap. Is that something the club needs to work on?

Scott: We don’t set out to have a certain kick to handball ratio. We attack based on what the opposition puts before us in terms of the way they want to defend.

Usually we’re pretty good at discerning between the two. Tonight, and particularly against Richmond, we weren’t.

Q: The first 20 minutes, were you sitting back wondering ‘have we turned up here?’ They really were a lot more intense earlier.

Scott: We kicked the first goal and then just some inexplicable errors handed them two goals. I wouldn’t simplify it to that level. We had the appetite for the contest tonight, and I don’t buy into guys not turning up to play.

We didn’t execute tonight, that was the main problem. Sure we’ve had better effort and better intensity throughout the year, but that wasn’t the reason we won or lost. The execution of skill and the decision making under pressure wasn’t there.

Q: Do you feel like there’s an issue with being able, or not being able to change the course of the game when things go against you? Your better performances you seem to have been on right from the start. Have you had a good performance this year where you’ve clawed your way back?

Scott: It’s not something I’ve really thought of. We’ve had plenty of situations this year where we’ve been under pressure and the opposition have scored and we’ve bounced back, or found a way to really stay in it.

Only Sydney and Richmond were margins that were too far for us to claw back but we continued to fight through. We were close enough at quarter time – St Kilda didn’t score heavily, they missed a few shots – but in the second quarter we just couldn’t score. That was the reason for the margin at half time.

Q: You mentioned working on the skills at training. Is there enough time to do that, is that the part of the challenge, working to find the time to improve the skills?

Scott: You prioritise, and we’ll prioritise. We run a football program, we don’t run a sports science program or a medical program. We’ll do what we need to do to get enough time to get our skill execution work done.

I’ll be advised by the sport science professionals and I’ll make sure we do what’s necessary on the skill front.

Q: Jarrad Waite got crunched late. Do you have any idea how he is?

Scott: Just due to the state of the game, we just took him off. He got a knock to the head, I’m not sure of the diagnosis but hopefully he’s ok.

Q: It wasn’t his shoulder, it was his head?

Scott: Yep, he’s just a bit dazed.

Q: At 4-8 now Brad, do you mix things up a bit selection wise and maybe have a look at a few other guys?

Scott: Not because we purely want to have a look at guys. We’ve got a few who are pushing, and Mountford is one of those who was pushing for a few weeks.

He did a great job on Jack Steven in the first half. Steven went forward, to his credit, and impacted the game, but not on Declan.

At half time we had to try and free the game up to try and score to get back in it. Even when we did that he played a really good role for us. He’s got some speed and good run and to his credit he takes the game on. He’s got a bit of what we need actually.

Q: Were you surprised by the way he seemed so unfazed in just his second game, taking on one of the stars of the competition?

Scott: We weren’t surprised. We’ve been looking to give him another opportunity. We really encourage him to take it on.

Directly we’ve said to him, if he gets caught we’ll work on that but we’d much prefer him to take the game on and have a crack and maybe make a few mistakes rather than being timid and wait and hope.

We’ll keep encouraging him to do that and we’ll see a fair bit more of him I’m sure.

Q: 4-8, 10 games to go, two games outside (the eight), you’d probably need to win eight of the last 10 and have sides above you fall over. Are finals out of the question?

Scott: It’s a strange season. We’ll continue to play to win. If that’s a question around will we start to play around with our side to look at other players, we don’t think those two things are mutually exclusive at the moment.

We’ve got a lot of players who we think can make us better, and so we’ve got to look at the balance of the side. We’re still in that group of a number of teams who have still got genuine hope to play in September and that’s our ambition from this point on.

We’ll keep trying to play footy that’s capable of beating sides in September, and we’ll keep picking the team to win games to try and compete.

Q: The pace and line-breaking capabilities, does someone like a Josh Williams come into calculations?

Scott: We like Josh, he’s fairly light at the moment but he’s got some elite qualities that we really like. It’s just a matter of not doing him a disservice.

Like Declan Mountford, we played him Round 1, we sent him back to the VFL to work on some things and brought him back in when we were pretty confident he was going to do the sorts of things he did tonight.

We’ve got to make sure that when we bring Josh in, we bring him in ready to play.

Q: Todd Goldstein, he’s obviously had a tough week but a pretty good performance tonight?

Scott: Longer was ok, but I thought Goldy took a really good step forward today. His work rate around the contest was really good.

I said during the week, it’s sometimes a really fine line for the big guys, and I thought he took a step forward.