The consequences of Sunday's cutthroat clash with West Coast at Patersons Stadium will bounce North Melbourne out of their late-season malaise, according to Kangaroos coach Brad Scott.
North's final two home-and-away matches, a loss to Fremantle and an uninspiring win over Greater Western Sydney, have belied their brill- iant form in the second half of the season.
But Scott said the team would be reignited for its first finals appearance in three years.
The expected return from injury of Daniel Wells and Nathan Grima would also have significant impact.
Scott said having confirmed a spot in the finals before the round- 22 loss to the Dockers had contributed to his team's drop in form and even admitted his planning had been affected.
"Everything's on the line," Scott said bluntly. "We're in a knockout series now, so the reality is we've got to be at our best.
"We expect West Coast to be at their best, so I don't think mentally we're going to have any trouble switching on for a final.
"It's full steam ahead. Our guys have been training for this for a long time. We think we're in really good condition and there will be no need to freshen our players up.
"The performances (in the past fortnight) haven't been as good, there's no doubt about that. But I think if you take a form line over the last three months, we're looking pretty good.
"There will be no problems mentally getting up for this week and physically I think we're in terrific shape.
"The way that we've trained, the style of footy that we've been playing is in preparation for these sorts of games and these sorts of moments.
"This club has been under pressure before, both on and off the field, and it's always when we respond best."
North led West Coast by nearly six goals with a stunning first half when the teams last met in Hobart in round 15, before Eagles ruckman Dean Cox inspired a comeback victory.
Scott said his players would take great confidence from most of that game and surprisingly claimed Patersons Stadium would give his hard-running team an edge.
The Kangaroos have won only two of their past 11 matches at the ground.
"Hopefully as the game goes on we can use the expanses of Subiaco to our advantage," Scott said.
"We haven't won a lot of games at the venue recently but I think if you have a look at the results, we've gone down by some pretty narrow margins and we've certainly felt we've been in the game, even the games we've lost.
"Our side has really developed into a side that can cover the ground pretty well and we've got a forward line that is pretty flexible so the space will tend to suit us."
North captain Andrew Swallow admitted to having a "couple of corkies" but declared he would be fit and firing.
He said the Kangaroos would have no chance of winning unless they competed ruthlessly against West Coast at the stoppages.
"If we don't match their intensity, if we don't compete with them around the footy, work hard and spread hard, we're not going to be a chance over there," Swallow said.
"The boys are ecstatic to be there. Part of it is to make it to the finals, but now we've got a big challenge ahead of us."