Under-fire North Melbourne coach David Noble has received support from former colleague Chris Fagan, who says the Kangaroos were always going to endure a period of hurt during their AFL rebuild.
Noble is in the spotlight with the Kangaroos struggling at 1-9 following an eight-game losing streak, with club legends including dual premiership captain Wayne Carey speaking out at how the club is being managed.
In 32 games in the job, Noble has won just five matches and three of the club's backroom staff departed Arden Street recently.
Noble himself also had to dispute reports No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis had been sanctioned by the club for flying home to South Australia for Mother's Day, with the teenager having put contract talks on hold until at least the end of the season.
Noble was Fagan's football manager at the Lions before taking up the North job, and the Lions coach is imploring the Kangaroos to stick tough with the 55-year-old.
"It's always a difficult time when coaches are under the pump," Fagan said.
"I know myself in the first couple of years here it was hard work when we weren't winning many games and people are looking trying to look for reasons why.
"He's trying to rebuild a footy club and there's a bit of pain associated with that as we found out.
"Hopefully, some patience can be shown and wise heads prevail and that he and the team can see their way through it."
Fagan acknowledged a key difference between his early days at the Lions and what Noble is currently enduring is the spotlight of being an AFL head coach of a struggling Melbourne team.
"It's a red-hot footy town. There's no doubt about that," he said.
"So there's not too much sympathy for you."
Eagles coach Adam Simpson, who has also been under the pump this year, said Noble reached out to him a few weeks ago to show his support.
"We don't know each other. It was just a reach-out text that I appreciate," said Simpson, whose name has been thrown up as a candidate to replace Noble if the Kangaroos decide to part ways.
"It's a tight coaching group. We all know what we're going through. There's ups and downs in this industry.
"Sometimes you're in the sweet spot and you're in a really good space, sometimes it's a real challenge and your resilience is tested."
Australian Associated Press
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