AFL 2 years ago

No improvement, no AFL flag: Goldstein

  • No improvement, no AFL flag: Goldstein

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 8: Tom Hickey of the Saints and Todd Goldstein of the Kangaroos compete in a ruck contest during the 2016 AFL Round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on May 8, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Ruckman Todd Goldstein acknowledges North Melbourne still have a lot of work to do if they're to be a genuine AFL premiership contender.

The undefeated Kangaroos top the ladder after eight rounds, having survived a late charge from Essendon to prevail by 14 points at Etihad Stadium.

Victory against Carlton at the same venue on Saturday will mean North are 9-0. Never before in the club's 92-season history have they started a year so well.

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But North's second-half fadeout against the Bombers, in which they were almost overrun after boasting a 52-point lead, suggests their win-loss record is somewhat misleading.

"I think very easily we could be 4-4 or even worse," Goldstein told the Seven Network.

"It's nice winning games, it's nice having a lot more wins than losses.

"But we know we're not playing our best footy. We know we have a lot of improvement to do.

"If we play like we did on the weekend, we're not going to win a premiership."

North coach Brad Scott called it a "a win that felt like a loss".

Goldstein admitted he felt "a bit empty" after the victory.

"It was a bizarre feeling after the game. I don't think I've seen too many sides that have lost then get a standing ovation," he said.

Meanwhile, Goldstein was upbeat Mason Wood (concussion) would be fit to face the Blues.

Wood was knocked out cold in a marking contest, taken off the field on a stretcher and rushed to hospital during the match against Essendon.

"We were all a bit concerned at the time but he doesn't really have too many headaches or any symptoms like that," Goldstein said.

"He was actually feeling surprisingly good (on Sunday).

"So I think at this stage it's all looking good for next week."

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