David Teague invoked a famous line from Denis Pagan as he insisted Carlton’s game plan was largely sound and that the Blues’ players were capable of delivering despite their finals chances all but evaporating on Sunday.
But Teague admitted Carlton had not improved as much he had hoped pre-season as they stare at an eighth straight season away from the finals action.
Carlton coach David Teague.Credit:Getty Images
Sunday’s 22-point loss to an undermanned West Coast at the SCG left the Blues three wins and percentage outside the eight as they head to their bye, while continuing a trend of three-to-five goal defeats this season.
Teague lamented how his side had missed early opportunities before being bested in the contest as the game wore on.
He conceded the Blues had not progressed as they would have liked, acknowledging that playing finals would now be an “uphill battle”.
“I’ve got no doubt our fans will be flat and frustrated with that,” Teague said.
“I still think this group has got a lot better football in them. We’re a fair way off where we need to be.
“We haven’t improved as much as we would have liked. Right now I don’t think we’re playing with a lot of confidence and belief. They’re training hard, I think that will turn at some stage but as a collective and as a group we probably haven’t improved as much as we would have liked to and you can tell by the results.
“The great thing about it is we control it. We’ve got to go and get better and when it comes to skill execution and craft, that’s something we can work on. We need to roll our sleeves up and do the hard work.”
Teague referenced his two-time former coach Pagan’s quip about not being able to buy confidence.
“An old coach of mine used to talk about going down to Puckle St and getting some confidence. It doesn’t happen. We’ve just got to do the hard work and stick together. That’s probably one of the real challenges right now, people are going to want to pull you apart but we’ve got to stick together.
“The fact we’re in all these games [suggests our game plan] sort of holds up. It is something we’ll continue to look at and [are] slightly tweaking all the time.”
The Blues will need to monitor Harry McKay and Nic Newman who were both subbed out of the game with concussion.
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