Carlton can’t pinpoint reasons for slump
Carlton are battling to pin-point the exact reasons for their slide down the AFL ladder says ruckman Robbie Warnock.
Warnock admits the Blues were bitterly disappointed in their 54-point capitulation to Port Adelaide on Saturday night, their third defeat in four matches.
And things won’t get any easier in a hurry, with Carlton’s next four matches either side of the round 13 bye pitting them against competition heavyweights Geelong, West Coast, Hawthorn and Collingwood.
Jarrad Waite (back) could well return for Friday night’s big clash with the Cats, although evergreen midfielder Heath Scotland (calf) has joined a long injury list and is set to be sidelined for three weeks.
“We’ve had injuries but there’s probably lots of different things,” Warnock said.
“The guys who come in we expect them to play their role and play well but we can’t put our finger on any one thing.”
He conceded enthusiasm and intensity were down in the squad, which was something they must improve against the Cats.
Warnock didn’t believe the Blues needed to bring any more youngsters into the team with the current players needing to step up.
“The next month will probably give us a clearer picture of where we sit.
“We’ve just got to worry about Geelong and hopefully take it from there.”
The Blues had to abandon their plan to use three ruckmen when Matthew Kreuzer was a late withdrawal against Port with hamstring tightness.
“We’ve only tried the three talls once and that was against Melbourne and I thought it worked really well,” said Warnock.
“It gave us the structure we needed and you play Hammer (Sean Hampson) deep and Kreuzer at centre half-forward and then rotate through the ruck.
“It probably lightened the workload for the three of us so hopefully going forward we can go down that path.”
Meanwhile, Warnock said the players were “definitely” behind coach Brett Ratten.
His statement came after Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, talking on his radio show on Monday morning, said the Blues and former West Coast and Collingwood premiership coach Mick Malthouse would be a perfect fit.
“That’s a media beat-up … if you’re going to buy into that stuff you’ll be doing your head in,” Warnock said.© AAP 2013
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