The Hawks have battled bravely without some of their star pre-season recruits including skipper Beau Muston, Will Johnson and Marc Lock, who has been injured in patches.
Muston is expected to return next week from a groin injury.
“Will Johnson or Lock or Muston and those sort of blokes that we need and obviously Sam Gibson who has been pretty crucial to us. I suppose we were in a similar position last year on the ladder and we’ve just got to keep improving,” coach Damian Carroll said.
With that trio up and running, the Hawks expect instant improvement.
Having said that, Carroll believes there are some players within the group that haven’t cut it so far this season.
“We’d just like to see some consistent improvement but certainly some guys haven’t come on as quickly as we would’ve liked no doubt,” he said.
He described last week’s loss to Casey – in which it scored one goal in the first half – as disappointing.
“I think our midfield did struggle no doubt. I think we had as much ball as them but weren’t as clean as them. We struggled and didn’t really use the ground that well. Full credit to Casey, they were really clean at the footy. They missed some shots at goal like us but they certainly had a very potent forward up there,” he said.
“I think it’s been inconsistent. We came up against a good side today. I know that we picked up a few players over the pre-season but not really many of them are playing for us.”
North Ballarat, who has also struggled, will also be looking to get its third win on the board after an impressive win over Coburg last week.