North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says his side has improved this season in every area but one - clinching wins.

The Kangaroos' after-the-siren loss to West Coast on Friday night was their third defeat this year by less than a goal, having also gone down in thrillers to competition powerhouses Geelong and Hawthorn.

It's left the Kangaroos on a 3-5 record, precariously placed in 13th spot ahead of a crunch clash with ninth-placed Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

But Scott is sure this year's Kangaroos are better than the side that made last year's finals.

"There's no doubt about that," he told reporters on Thursday.

"We've improved in every area. All our numbers look really good but we're 3-5, that's the most disappointing number.

"But we're really clear as to why that is and we think we can fix that really quickly."

Scott said North got most aspects right in the crucial final minutes of their loss to the Eagles.

One notable exception was key defender Lachie Hansen letting opponent Nic Naitanui have a clear run to take a pack mark in the dying seconds, before goaling after the siren.

But Scott said Hansen had otherwise performed extremely well.

"Lachie took five or six contested marks and most of them were on Nic Naitanui, so there are not too many players in the competition who are capable of doing that," he said.

"He made a split-second error of judgment and that happens in footy.

"The challenge for those players is not to dwell on it, it's to say look, 'I made a mistake,' work out how to fix it and go about training it really well.
"I'm really confident that Lachie will do that."

Scott said he had not wasted time dwelling on two controversial West Coast free kicks in the closing stages or the final result, as it was better spent preparing for what he predicted would be another tough match against the Crows.

"They're looking really ominous so I think it's going to be a great game this weekend," he said.