Brad Scott’s time at North Melbourne is coming to an end. Picture: Getty Images
Brad Scott’s time at North Melbourne is coming to an end. Picture: Getty Images

Scott responds to split news

NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott is trying to keep his focus on Saturday's match against the Western Bulldogs and says it will be a difficult task to get his players' minds "back in the game".

Speaking on 3AW, Scott would not confirm if Saturday's game would be his last, saying he would provide more details at a press conference on Sunday.

"I'm working really hard like all professionals do to try and stay in the moment," he said.

"There will be plenty of time for prognostications and reviews in time.

"It's obviously a bit of a tumultuous time for us but I'll expand more on that in the press conference tomorrow.

"My big task is to try and get the players' heads back in the game.

"Life throws all sorts of difficulties in front of you, everyone is going to have tough times in life, I always say you can't control those things, it's how you respond to them.

"I was able to talk to the players before, I would've really liked the opportunity to do that earlier, but unfortunately that was the chance I got to speak to them.

"It's fair to say they're agitated. Again, I just keep stressing we got a job to do."

Two-time North Melbourne premiership player David King says a new coach at the Kangaroos would re-engage the club's fan base.

King reiterated his call on Saturday that Scott and the Kangaroos would both be better off if they parted ways as quickly as possible.

Scott would be marking time next year if he decided to see out the final year of his contract and the losses continued, according to King, who added there would be no shortage of suitors for his services.

"It's a gamble on the future," King said on SEN.

"It's going nowhere. Say they win five games this year and they win six games next year, his coaching career's over.

"That's done, thanks for your time, 11 years (as) senior coach, you walk away. He doesn't get another job.

"But if he cuts the cord now and sells himself on the way out like he is 'put the club first when they asked me to, I stuck fat, look at core of my being, my integrity, I've given all', I can now then look (and say), 'Hey St Kilda, I'm your man. Carlton, I'm your man. Essendon, I'm your man.'

"There's potentially, you can come out with half the competition (as suitors)."

There is speculation North Melbourne will call a press conference on Sunday or Monday to confirm the split, which was broken by Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson on Friday.

Brad Scott could coach his final game for the Kangaroos on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images
Brad Scott could coach his final game for the Kangaroos on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images

AFL legend Leigh Matthews, who coached Scott at the Brisbane Lions, said he believed Scott should have a "gap year" and not coach next year.

"It's sometimes helpful to have a gap between being involved at a club so you can just go to the footy and observe it," Matthews said on 3AW.

"The coach you want can't be headhunted. Going and poaching a coach from another club is completely against the coaching philosophy.

"When your time's up as Brad's is ... now that he's not going to be coaching, well OK, now you can think ahead and 'do I take a gap year, or do I want to look for another job?'

"But anyone who's currently in a club, I don't think they can entertain being poached to go elsewhere. I might be old-fashioned in that one."

Western Bulldogs great Bob Murphy said North Melbourne players would be battling a range of emotions ahead of the game against the Dogs, which could be Scott's last game in charge.

Murphy said news that Scott's tenure at the Kangaroos could be over soon would have left the players feeling either confusion or anger.

"At best, you'd be confused," Murphy said on SEN.

"And at worst, you'd be angry. They'd be all over the shop emotionally."

The news surrounding Brad Scott would have shocked the players. Picture: AAP
The news surrounding Brad Scott would have shocked the players. Picture: AAP

King said North supporters were ready for a fresh face to lead the club.

"For the football club, it's exciting," he said.

"And for the North Melbourne fans ... I don't know if they'll thank Brad or not. In the end, the decision on Brad was probably made out of fear for losing a glut of those fans

"They can't afford to lose 5000 members.

"The backlash for Brad is quite severe ... and in the end that is a small factor in your decision."

On Friday, King implored his former club to "rip off the band aid" and part ways with Scott immediately.

King questioned how Scott could effectively communicate with his players if they knew he was on his way out.

"If you decide to rip the band aid off, you rip it off," King said on SEN.

"You don't slowly part company. If it has come to this decision, whether it is amicable or otherwise, do it immediately. Just do it. Just be done with it.

"How does (Saturday) play out? You're going to have 22 players turn up with the man standing in front of them that's what? He's going to challenge them to perform?

"He's going to challenge them to sacrifice their bodies for the cause when he is probably not going to be there in the next 48 hours?"

After hitting the season with high expectations, the Roos have encountered a disastrous 2019 and  sit in second last place on the ladder.

The club's only wins for the year have come against Adelaide and Carlton.