Carlton is set to regain star duo Mitch McGovern and Zac Williams and is ready to embrace the challenge of its round five clash against last season’s minor premiers Port Adelaide, says coach David Teague.
Addressing media on Thursday, Teague said the Blues are prepared to show fans their capabilities as a side against a premiership contender but foreshadow where he believes his group can get to.
“We know they’re a good side… We played quite well against them last year,” he said of the Power.
“We believe that’s where we’re going as well, and this is our chance to prove to all of our fans – that hopefully fill the MCG – that we’re going to be a good side too.
“It’s the challenge that this group are looking forward to, and these are the games we need to stand up in.”
The Blues matched it with the Power in their 2020 clash in what was one of their best performances of the season, leading for large parts of the game before Robbie Gray broke Carlton hearts with a goal after the siren to win it for the Power.
It was one of many games in which the Blues competed strongly against top sides, Teague suggesting there is no shortage of belief among the playing group.
“We want to be in these games more often, and you need to play well,” he said.
“Each time we go out there, we expect to win. We believe we can beat anyone, and we showed last year that we can compete with anyone.
“Round one we competed, round two we were disappointing. If we turn up like we did in round two, then we won’t compete with anyone.”
The Blues have been hit heavily by injury in the first four rounds of the season, but Teague says there’s still plenty of competition for spots in Carlton’s best 22.
“Competition for spots is quite tough at the moment, and that’s exactly what good teams have,” he said.
“You’ve got to put 3, 4, 5 weeks together. It’s your block of performance, it’s not just [playing] one good game and expect[ing] to get a game.”
The Blues’ round four win over the Gold Coast Suns was soured by a shoulder injury to Jack Silvagni in the dying stages of the match. Teague hinted that Mitch McGovern could be heavily in the mix to replace the injured forward.
“Mitch has played 2 games in the VFL, played quite well, so again he’ll train today, and [he’s] a possibility for this weekend.”
“We’ve got to pick our best team. He needs to be in good form, and [so does] anyone that breaks into this side.
“To break into the team you need to have a body of work behind you.”
Zac Williams is also expected to return for Carlton after missing last weeks game with illness and a minor calf complaint.