Carlton coach David Teague knows his side is capable of much more than what they have shown so far this season. conceding that his side is guilty of handing opposition teams “a window” to beat them.
The Blues sit 2-4 on the ladder after Round 6 and face fierce rivals Essendon on the weekend in what is a crucial game for the club, desperate to keep their finals hopes alive.
Teague acknowledged that his side are their own worst enemies at times this season and over his time as coach but the focus has again been remaining competitive and executing the skills required for the full 120 minutes of the game.
“Teams now know that and they’re preparing for it … a couple of opposition players have even said that Carlton is a good team but you’re going to get a window,” the Blues coach said on Thursday.
“Our fans expect more of us now, and we expect more of ourselves.
“Would we love to be ahead of where we’re at in terms of win-loss? Yeah. But in terms of the overall picture and the lessons and learnings we’re creating at the moment, in the bigger picture it will really help us.”
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The Blues are missing several first-choice players through injury, but Teague isn’t being drawn into the discussion of dropping anyone for the sake of it.
Veterans Eddie Betts, Marc Murphy, and Levi Casboult have all come under fire in recent weeks for their performances as the club has been urged to look towards the younger talent on their list and expose them to AFL level football.
Young midfielders Paddy Dow, Will Setterfield, and Lochie O’Brien all put in strong performances in the VFL win over Brisbane on the weekend but Teague said he would pick the best side that he believes will get the job done on the weekend.
“I’m not a big believer in the whole ‘make a statement’ thing,” Teague said.
“I think our fans want us to pick the team that we think is going to win this weekend and take us forward. Right now, we’re on a pathway and we’re really comfortable with where we’re at.
“No one is guaranteed a spot in this football team.”
Jack Silvagni will need to pass a fitness test to be selected while defender Luke Parks looks poised to return after a couple of weeks out with a minor hamstring issue.
Ruckman Tom De Koning and running defender Nic Newman will make their returns and season debuts in the VFL this weekend on return from back and knee injuries respectively.
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