Jack Ziebell is refusing to lose focus of the club’s long term goals despite falling short to the Bulldogs on Sunday.

In his second year as skipper, the 27-year-old acknowledges the opportunity the Roos let slip, but knows it’s not the be all and end all.

“I think every footballer’s aim is to play finals and for us it’s no different,” Ziebell told Fox Sports.

“At the same time, we understand the bigger picture of building a football team and playing consistent football to challenge the best teams, no matter where it is or when it is.

“That’s our goal and we’d love that to be this year, we’re striving for that to be this year and it would be disappointing to miss out, but the goal won’t change.

“We’re doing a lot right, but there’s some things that we need to improve on throughout games.”

One of those areas of improvement is the consistency of the group within matches.

North held a 28-point lead at the main break, but allowed the Bulldogs to kick eight goals in the third term which found the Roos trailing at three quarter time.

“We’re not too far away (from reaching that goal),” Ziebell said.

“Giving up eight goals against any opposition in the third quarter is going to make it hard to win games of footy.

“Their midfield was pretty good on the weekend, and they played well across all lines.

“For us, we probably had a few guys down (on form), but a good team can cover that when they win.

“We don’t expect all players to be playing their best footy every week, but we expect our team to cover for those guys and get the job done when they aren’t playing too well.

“There are some inconsistencies throughout our game that we need to address, and when we do that we’ll be on track to where we want to go.”

Although long-term success is North’s primary focus, there’s no hiding the opportunities that 2018 may hold.

Sitting a win outside the top eight, its finals hopes are still alive, but securing two wins from the remaining two home-and-away fixtures is crucial.

“We all know how tight this year is,” Ziebell added.

“We just need to focus in on what we need to do, but unfortunately we’ve taken our destiny out of our own hands a little bit.

“It’s more about what do we need to do this week to give ourselves every chance to play finals.

“It’s about going back to the weekend’s game and seeing what went wrong, how we can fix that and making sure it doesn’t happen this Sunday.”