Adelaide ruckman Reilly O’Brien is the first to concede his form early in the season needed improvement.
O’Brien spent Rounds Nine and 10 working on his craft in the SANFL before earning a recall for the clash against Geelong.
The 26-year-old has been back in the AFL side for the past three weeks and, during that time, has finished with 46, 40 and 33 hit-outs.
He also rates elite for hit-outs to advantage, recording an average of 10.6 so far this season.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, O’Brien said going back to the SANFL acted as a “circuit breaker” for him and helped him to refresh ahead of the second half of the AFL campaign.
“It (being omitted) was obviously really disappointing and not the way I wanted the year to pan out,” O’Brien said.
“I was probably overthinking my footy and lost that flow on-field.
“I think it was able to be a bit of a circuit-breaker for me so I could get back to playing in that better headspace and playing more natural footy.
“The last couple of weeks, it’s been building again, so hopefully I’ve got some really strong footy to finish the year.”
O’Brien said the Crows were disappointed with the past few weeks and would be doing everything to try and get the win against North Melbourne this weekend.
“We go out to win every week,” O’Brien said.
“I hate losing.
“Certainly we are trying to win and it’s pretty annoying when you’re in games and you’re playing good footy and winning the contest and then not being able to get the win on the board.
“Some of our execution going forward, for whatever reason, is not at the level.
“We are training a lot of that at the moment, so hopefully we get to see that over the next few weeks in terms of our ball use.”
Adelaide takes on North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena, Hobart, on Sunday, with the first bounce at 12.40pm (ACST).
“It’s really important for us to get a few wins and this week will be a really good one so hopefully we get the win and go from there,” O’Brien said.
“I’ve had some really good battles with Goldy, (Kangaroos ruck Todd Goldstein).
“I feel I’ve had a couple of good games against him and a couple where he’s probably edged me, it’s a good contest.
“He’s in really good form, so I’m looking forward to coming up against him.”