Alastair Clarkson’s candid confession, Harry Sheezel position switch, breaking news

North Melbourne coach Alistair Clarkson was candid in his assessment of his side after the winless Kangaroos slumped to their sixth defeat of the season with a 45-point defeat to fellow cellar dwellers Hawthorn.

“They were getting louder and louder,” Clarkson said.

“Sometimes we would be out with the footy and we would just knock the ball off when we had chances where we could have gotten ourselves back into the game with some easy ball movement and we missed a target or fumbled a ground ball, dropped a point.

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“That is a reflection of where we are as a party. Experienced pressure and we make mistakes.”

North Melbourne fans flocked to Marvel Stadium with hopes of witnessing their first Melbourne win since Round 1 last year, but were left deflated by a run of nine unanswered goals against the Hawks in the first half that killed the game .

Both sides went into the match without a win and it was structured as a test for rebuilding.

Which side could be showing signs of appearing again in the final sooner than the other.

The Hawks passed the test with flying colors, while the Kangaroos were left with more questions than answers as their young talent was only able to make occasional glimpses.

Clarkson assesses loss to the Hawks | 06:58

“We know we have a lot of work to do regardless of today’s outcome,” Clarkson said.

“We know where we are as a football club and it will take a lot of hard work to get ourselves back on the ladder.

“We put our hands up and said we weren’t good enough.

“(I) knew what the story would be and knew that 18 months ago when we took the job. We had to change the culture and environment of our football club and invest in the youth.

“That’s the only way we can go. That’s what we did and we won’t back down from it. We know where we stand.

“The teams we play in the near future have a similar age profile to us, but today suggested we still have a lot of work to do.”

North Melbourne will take on Adelaide (Hobart), St Kilda (Marvel) and Gold Coast (Darwin) in their next three starts and they may have to keep the magnets running to take on their fellow young sides.

Montagna describes the concerns about the reconstruction of Roos | 03:16

Rising Star nominee George Wardlaw found success against Hawthorn, while the debate over Harry Sheezel’s best position continued after he was again North Melbourne’s leading ball winner despite a tap-in from Finn Maginness.

Sheezel occasionally pushed into midfield on Sunday evening, but was mainly stationed in the defenders’ half.

“We want Sheezel in other areas of the ground, but who do you take into the half to replace him?” said Clarkson.

“We also want to give the other boys, such as Powell, Phillips and McKercher, some attention to football.

“We really wanted him to consolidate his position in the middle of the first half of the year and then see in the second half of the year whether that was more in midfield or more mid/forwards.

“Maybe we now have a bit of a fast route.”