Slow starts are negatively impacting North Melbourne's ability not just to win games, but to remain competitive for the entirety of the four quarters.
In the last three games the Kangaroos have been outscored 104 to 26 in opening terms, a differential of 78 points. In the second quarters of those three games though the Kangaroos have, overall, outscored the opposition by one point.
Last weekend's clash with Port Adelaide was a fine example of the Kangaroos transforming a slow start into two stanzas of overtly competitive football, but such is the quality of Narrm (Melbourne) that the Kangaroos could struggle if they let their opposition off the leash.
David Noble says the players and coaches are working to rectify the opening term issues.
"We've tinkered a little bit with our warm-up, we've got to make sure players are ready to go and ready to step up to the level we need to. We've tinkered with a few things," Noble said.
"The best thing is you have to front up to it and admit you haven't had great starts. The players have been very conscious of that.
"We try to start strong at training to give our players a sense of what that actually looks like … that'll be our challenge, getting into the game from the start."
There's no better week for the Kangaroos to put in a strong, four-quarter performance than this week. Taking the game to the reigning premiers on the occasion that is Sir Doug Nicholls Round would go a long way to silencing the doubters.
This year's Indigenous guernsey was designed by Ky-ya Nicholson Ward and depicts the 'Marram' story.
"The kangaroo and the emu on the jumper are a collaboration … the kangaroo can only move forward, the same as the emu," Noble said.
"There's a meeting point for all of our players and staff on the jumper. Here, North Melbourne, is the meeting place.
"She's done a great job … the jumper looks fantastic. It's the best one in the comp.
"We've got a great, long history of Indigenous players representing our club … Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a great recognition, I think, for our Indigenous people."
The Kangaroos midfield is set to be bolstered by the addition of co-vice captain and proud Yorta Yorta man Jy Simpkin, along with potential inclusions Jason Horne-Francis, Hugh Greenwood and Tristan Xerri.
Noble says the inclusion of all four players depends on how they train through the week.
"If they all get through training then they'll all be considered. Jason, Jy and Hugh, and then it looks like if 'X' (Xerri) gets through training as well he may be in consideration," he said.
"Tristan was in really good form before he came out … he's recovered and done a lot of work to get back to this point so that'll be a handy plus for us if he gets through this week as well.
"[Jy] had a scan and the scan was pretty good, it was more of an overuse than anything. He's got through his treatment this week and if he hits his top speed today he'll be fine."