Red-hot Roos won't take Saints lightly

Interim coach Rhys Shaw has led North Melbourne to four wins in their past five AFL games. (AAP)

After they dispatched Collingwood in the previous start, North Melbourne insist they won't treat battling St Kilda as easybeats in their AFL clash.

Their trajectory couldn't be more contrasting but North Melbourne caretaker Rhyce Shaw remains wary of St Kilda, suggesting the AFL battlers aren't far off turning things around.

The sides will head into Sunday's clash at Blundstone Arena in Hobart equal on points with six wins and eight losses.

But on recent form, they're worlds apart.

St Kilda won four of their first five games but have since gone 2-7, piling pressure on fifth-year coach Alan Richardson.

The Kangaroos' comparatively miserable start to the season culminated in long-serving mentor Brad Scott stepping down after round 10.

Under his replacement Shaw, they've won three of four games including last week's commanding triumph over 2018 grand-finalists Collingwood - the big scalp the Saints have only been able to dream about this season.

Shaw is nonetheless urging his players not to take the Saints lightly, having watched them trade blows with Richmond last week before they fell away late.

"It's been interesting. I know they've had a really tough time with injuries and that's been really hard for them," he said on Thursday.

"But they're playing a really good brand of football. I know they haven't got the results but you can see the way they're trying to play.

"They really pushed Richmond, so we're not taking them lightly at all. They're going to be a real challenge for us and that's the message from me to our boys."

Shaw has encouraged the Roos to play a physical brand of football and it was on full display in their impressive 44-point win over the Magpies.

Under Shaw's watch, North have notably become harder to score against and improved their performance in the contests.

"The best teams play their way no matter what. That's the kind of mentality we're going to try and go in with," Shaw said.

"We're still going to tinker. We'll keep the basics the same but obviously we're going to do different things against different opponents.

"We'll look at St Kilda and see what we can possibly exploit and protect ourselves against what they can do as well."

The Roos appear likely to make minimal selection changes with key defender Robbie Tarrant expected to prove his fitness after he suffered a knock last week.

Source AAP

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