BRAD Scott has taken no notice of recent criticism of North Melbourne's play, saying no one analyses his team more critically than him and his coaching staff.
Scott said part of that internal analysis had included inviting Hawthorn and Carlton premiership coach David Parkin into the club this week as part of the club's coach development program, along with Melbourne Heart assistant coach John Aloisi and captain Simon Colosimo.
"All the criticism and analysis from the outside is terrific, but what I can assure you is that no one critically analyses the performance of our coaches and our players more than us," Scott said at Aegis Park on Thursday.
Scott said Parkin had provided general feedback to North on its coaching set-up as part of a development program aimed at helping its assistant coaches and development coaches to improve along with its players.
Scott said he also travelled overseas each year to study other sports to ensure the club's programs were cutting-edge.
Scott conceded his young team had used the ball poorly at times against St Kilda, and had been too Drew Petrie conscious when entering its forward 50.
Scott was also criticised last week for bringing in senior players Daniel Pratt, Ben McKinley and Scott McMahon who are not blessed with great leg-speed.
Such criticisms have been responded to in North's team to take on Collingwood with four running players brought into the extended squad, and McKinley not keeping his place in the team
Scott has no doubt North's development was on the right track.
"We've really been working hard on our game style and a method that we think is going to be really successful in big games against really good sides, (so) nothing changes from that method.
"We're confident in the direction we're heading. We're not going to get swayed by other people's opinions."
North takes on reigning premier Collingwood this Sunday at the MCG, and Scott said the opportunity to take on the "best side in the competition" was really exciting.
Scott said North's key performance indicators showed it had improved significantly since it lost to the Magpies by 87 points in round two. But he said statistics often became meaningless when you confronted a powerhouse side like Collingwood.
"Collingwood has a tendency to make the opposition poor. That's their real strength in my opinion," Scott said.
"They're such a well disciplined, structured and coached football side that they make everyone they play look sub-standard. And they've certainly done that to us in the past."
Scott said North's players were confident they would be more competitive against the Magpies this time. Similarly, Scott believed if they played at their best they were good enough to compete with the competition's best sides, but they were yet to prove they could sustain that standard for an entire match.
Scott said he could not afford to focus solely on shutting down Collingwood midfielders Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury, because their teammates Dale Thomas and Sharrod Wellingham were equally dangerous.
Scott confirmed first-year midfielder Shaun Atley would return against Collingwood, but said ruckman Hamish McIntosh was still at least two weeks ago from completing his return from injury.