North Melbourne coach David Noble says his players need to regain confidence in one another if they're to break out of their worrying slump.
The Kangaroos (1-7) crashed to their sixth straight defeat in Friday night's 78-point flogging at the hands of Fremantle.
North Melbourne booted just three goals for the match, with the team outplayed and outmuscled despite Fremantle losing six players to COVID protocols.
The Kangaroos' only win this season came in round two when COVID-hit West Coast fielded a skeleton squad featuring five top-up players.
Noble bemoaned his team's skill errors that continually turned the ball over against the Dockers.
But he can also see his players are lacking confidence in numerous other aspects.
"It looks like at times they don't have that confidence in one another," Noble said.
"I think that's what happens when you get those turnovers and errors that tend to litter your game.
"You tend to hedge your bets a bit. In the AFL, you need to defend the ground.
"It has turned into a defensive territorial game. We're not able to do that.
"We lose that first application of pressure, it hesitates that guy from behind and then we get in trouble."
Defender Ben McKay appears set for a stint on the sidelines after injuring his right knee against the Dockers.
Noble said McKay suffered suspected medial damage after Dockers forward Josh Traecy fell across his outstretched leg.
One positive to come out of the match was the successful return of Jed Anderson.
Anderson, who had an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 jab and was initially reluctant to have a second dose, tallied 12 disposals and two clearances in his first AFL game of the season.
"He looked pretty gassed towards the end," Noble said.
"He's done a terrific job to get back into contention.
"We felt like we had enough load under him to play him in that small forward area. He got a handful of centre bounces."
The Kangaroos will regain spearhead Nick Larkey from suspension for next Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide in Tasmania.