15/08/2022

Carlton senior coach Michael Voss speaking at Ikon Park. Image: carltonfc.com.au

Old habits are still creeping in to the way Carlton are playing but Michael Voss is confident the Blues are building closer to that full four quarter display

Carlton coach Michael Voss has settled back into the rollercoaster ride that is senior coaching in his first seven weeks into his second stint in the big chair.

Sitting four wins and two losses after the first quarter of the season, Voss’ Blues are sitting inside the top eight, but the bubble and groundswell of excitement about the team and the way they were playing at the start of the season has slowly dissipated after a string of indifferent results.

Despite the winning record, Carlton’s percentage of 95.4% is the lowest in the top eight by a fair distance and the eighth-worst in the competition after six rounds.

Carlton is only six weeks into a new season with a new regime under Voss and his new coaching staff at Ikon Park. But while everything is new, old habits still linger around and never go quietly.

Carlton became notorious last year for conceding runs of five goals or more during games in 2021, a defensive flaw that ultimately cost David Teague his job.

While Carlton has shown improvements this season at winning contested ball and building a front half game, questions still remain on the Blues’ ability to defend the corridor and the ground and halt momentum against them when they concede scores in-game.

Since Round two, Carlton has conceded runs of goals against all opposition. Five out of six against the Western Bulldogs. Six straight against Hawthorn. Six out of seven against the Gold Coast. Six straight against Port Adelaide before most recently conceding eight out of nine goals against Fremantle in last weeks 35 point loss at Optus Stadium.

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Voss has spoken previously this season things that are trained during the off-season and in-season becoming habitual as the playing group nails down the new game – plan. While Voss says he isn’t frustrated by the inability to completely bed it down over the first quarter of the season and re-adjust in-game, he remains confident that the team is building towards the full method and brand he wants Carlton to play like.

“When you’re really fully committed to a direction you are going and you know where you are, the frustration part doesn’t play a role,” Voss said

“For us, it’s really clear on what we’re trying to be able to play like & a lot have been able to see over the last period & our ability to stay in the moment & be able to play for longer. If that means it takes longer, that means we’ll take the time to get it done.

“We expect that when we come out here & play against North Melbourne, it’ll be a four-quarter performance. Our expectations coming into the game don’t change, what we need to be able to work on during the week will continually be refined.

 “We’re in a position right now where we want to earn the right as a footy club, so it’s about being able to go out & play the right way every single time we play. To me, it doesn’t matter about the opposition. When we walk out there, we have to expect their best.”

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The Blues have regained both Jack Silvagni and Matt Kennedy for the game against North Melbourne. In a blow for the Blues, star recruit George Hewett will miss after failing to train all week with a corked calf, his absence opening the door for midfielder Jack Carroll to make his debut for Carlton on Saturday night.

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