NORTH Melbourne’s history of AFL boom and bust has Shaun Higgins confident the Kangaroos can find a bull market again.
North and Carlton are among four teams mired at the bottom of the ladder with 1-5 starts ahead of their clash this Sunday at Marvel Stadium.
It’s meant growing scrutiny on the Kangaroos, with club premiership players Wayne Carey and David King prominent in their criticism.
Higgins noted North can be hot or cold at the start of the season, pointing to their 9-0 run in 2016 and their 0-5 slump two seasons ago.
The only worry for North with Higgins’ theory is that they still made the finals in 2016, but were 15th in 2017.
“I’m not sure what’s possible, but I know it can turn quickly,” he said.
“I also know you’re never going as well as you are, especially when we were 9-0 a couple of years ago.
“You’re never going as poorly as you are – we were 0-5 … and still got a lot out of that season.”
“But you don’t get caught up in what the next month will look like – we need to worry about what this week looks like and what happens on Sunday.”
Pressure is one area in which North know they have been found wanting so far this season.
“We know that our pressure is not where it needs to be,” Higgins said.
“We were the best pressure side in the competition at the start of last year, so we know what that looks like.”
Higgins missed last Friday night’s loss to Port Adelaide because of illness, but expects to return against Carlton.
He dismissed some criticism of his own form so far this season.
“It doesn’t bother me – criticism will come when you’re on the bottom of the ladder,” he said.
“I will continue to listen to what the coaches tell me, rather than people who watch bits and pieces of the footy.”
One North player whose effort cannot be faulted is midfielder Ben Cunnington.
His problem has been the match review panel, with two $3000 fines from the weekend for striking putting him on the edge of suspension.
They are the latest of several fines this season for Cunnington, but Higgins said his teammate will cope.
“He doesn’t want to tread that line,” Higgins said.
“But he’s hard and tough and goes at the footy.
“If there’s one bloke who doesn’t need financial support, I think it’s Cunners.”
© AAP 2019