Coach wants Carlton to start briskly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coach wants Carlton to start briskly

21/05/2008 06:32:31 PM Comments (0)

While Fremantle need to improve on their last quarters, Carlton are more worried about the first.

The Blues will host the Dockers in their AFL match this Saturday at Telstra Dome and will focus on a much better start when hosting a non-Victorian team.

Last Saturday night, coach Brett Ratten stressed to his players that they had to put the heat on Brisbane early.

But the Lions had a similar intent and executed it much better, outscoring Carlton eight goals to two on the way to a 30-point win.

The Dockers' last-term woes in the last few weeks have been well-documented, but Ratten said on Wednesday he is more concerned about his own team's start.

"On the weekend, we didn't get off to a good start, so that will be our first port of call," he said.

"Instead of worrying about the last quarter, we'll see what comes of the first three quarters."

Another problem for the Blues will be their undermanned defence.

Young backman Michael Jamison is out for up to a month with the shoulder injury he suffered in the Brisbane game, while Bret Thornton and Jordan Bannister are also missing.

Ratten expects Fremantle will try to exploit the situation.

"We've got a few injuries to some backs, you'd think Fremantle, they'll probably attack it (by) loading their forward line up," he said.

"(Luke) McPharlin will probably go forward or (Michael) Johnson and they might even throw them all up there.

"That will be a challenge for our backs, to combat that, but as we probably saw the other night, it was the supply of footy from the midfield with (Simon) Black and (Luke) Power that caused us problems.

"As you see, if the good players in the competition get time and space, the forwards usually get it, don't they - `lace-out'."

Carlton also must overcome a nine-game losing streak against Fremantle, dating back to round 16, 2001.

But Ratten pointed out the Blues are trying to redress a lot of their recent history.

"Probably like most things this year, we're trying to change history a little bit," he said.

"Fremantle are playing pretty good footy, when you look at it, they haven't got over the line, but they've run teams like Geelong and the Bulldogs right down to the wire."

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