Fevola unlikely to be offered as bait - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fevola unlikely to be offered as bait

By Leonard Siragusa 23/04/2008 05:19:44 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten says the Blues will not be rushed into contract re-negotiations with Brendan Fevola, even with the spearhead in career-best form.

Fevola, 27, who comes out of contract this year, has booted 22 goals in the last three matches, including drought-breaking victories over Collingwood and Melbourne.

He and Hawthorn excitement machine Lance Franklin are both on track to reach the 100-goal mark in 2008.

"We haven't sat down for negotiations with Brendan at the moment," Ratten said on Wednesday.

"(Football manager) Steven Icke will sit down

with Brendan's manager or (his wife) Alex, when that is we'll just wait and see, we'll just concentrate on Adelaide."

There have been reports that Carlton favour offering the mercurial Fevola a one-year contract extension, but Ratten said he wanted the full-forward to remain a Blue while he was coach at the club.

"He looks pretty good up there (in attack) so I'd rather him in the team than out of the team, Ratten said.

"He's a required player at our club and he's playing great footy.

"Since I've been at this club, he's had the one night misdemeanour and other than that he hasn't put a foot wrong.

"We'll just wait and see, let the football do the talking, and we'll just concentrate on what we have to do as a team."

Ratten confirmed Fevola's current form did not warrant a re-think on him being sacked if he had another alcohol-related misdemeanour, following the incident earlier this year when he was filmed urinating on the front window of a Melbourne night spot.

Ratten also said he would rather Fevola laid 100 tackles, rather than kicked 100 goals for the year.

Ratten highlighted Fevola's effort to chase down Melbourne's Nathan Jones almost to the wing last Sunday, a play that saw his spearhead eventually feed a handball to Cameron Cloke, who kicked it to Brad Fisher for a goal.

Fevola was also praised for his strong tackle on Collingwood's Harry O'Brien the previous week that wrenched the ball free.

He then shot a handball over the top for teammate Shaun Grigg to seal the win for the Blues against their arch-rivals.

"That's the stuff we want to see," Ratten said.

"We've seen it two weeks in a row and we want that to continue."

But Ratten expected it will be far tougher for Fevola to break free and kick another bag of goals against Adelaide on Saturday at Telstra Dome.

On the injury front, Ratten said Bryce Gibbs, who was a late withdrawal against Melbourne after pulling a back muscle while doing a weights session last Friday, would return for the clash with the Crows.

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