Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps is standing firm with his belief in the current group of players and senior coach David Teague in the wake of another disappointing loss on Saturday night to the Giants and has welcomed the incoming external review saying that it provides a chance for honest feedback.
The Blues fell to 4 wins and 9 losses and find themselves well out of finals contention with 9 games left to play. A result that will see them miss the finals for an 8th consecutive season.
Cripps conceded that the pressure and tackling is an area that needed to be addressed but said that the low tackle numbers from the weekend’s game against the Giants weren’t due to a lack of effort.
The Giants recorded more disposals and outtackled the Blues on Saturday night 79-41, including a 45-20 advantage at halftime, already holding a 5 goal lead.
“One thing I’ll say about this group is they give effort every week,” Cripps said to media on Monday morning at Ikon Park.
“It’s disappointing the tackle count was low.
“It wasn’t a lack of effort, we were still winning the ball [pointing to Carlton winning the ground ball statistic], but pressure is something we’ve got to keep addressing as a group.”
Cripps said it was a feeling of flatness in the rooms in the immediate aftermath of the game on Saturday night, in particular, flat about the lack of pressure they placed on their opponents.
“We were flat. One thing we were flat about was the tackle count.
“It’s a question I can’t really answer, to be honest. It’s something we’re going to address,” Cripps said of the tackling performance.”
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The defensive setup and system have been a key part of where it has been breaking down for Carlton this season. Carlton has conceded 100+ points 7 times and 90+ another 3 times in 13 games and is the 17th ranked defence in the league behind ladder footers North Melbourne.
Cripps says the groups have acknowledged that they are leaking too much as a side and must be more accountable but maintains they are working hard as a collective fix that.
“We’re definitely leaking too much as a side and we’ve openly said that, but we’re working hard to fix that.
“It’s not just the back 6, its a collective defence. The best teams defend as a collective.
“That’s something we’ll fine tune for the next 9 games.
“The game is full of mistakes, that’s where you need to be really honest with your review.”
Carlton is about to embark on an external review which was called for by incoming president Luke Sayers, which will be a widespread review of the football department at the club, with the losses and the same nature of the losses bringing the spotlight and the heat now firmly on senior coach David Teague.
Cripps welcomed the incoming review.
“I’ve never actually been involved in one of these processes and I’m not exactly sure what they are, in terms of the nuts and bolts of it,” he said.
“All I know is it’s going to be a thing (where) a lot of different areas will get feedback on how to grow, and I think high-performing clubs do that.
“We want to be a high-performing club and we feel like, although it’s hard at the moment, in the long run, it’s going to be really beneficial for our group.
“I want everyone to get some feedback from this review, I think everyone will be open to it and how we can get better.”
Cripps backed David Teague to lead the Blues’ recovery, beginning against Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
“When you are in places like this, it is easy to point to one person but footy is collective group and we all take responsibility of where we are at the moment. It’s not just on Teaguey, it’s everyone. I want everyone to get some feedback from this review,” Cripps said.
The 26-year-old restricted free agent is reportedly close to finalising a new deal to stay at Ikon Park but Cripps today all but guaranteed his future is committed to Carlton.
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