Crows prove they can be elite: Craig - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows prove they can be elite: Craig

By Steve Larkin 01/08/2008 03:22:39 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide have proven they can be among the AFL's elite, the question is whether they can sustain it, Crows coach Neil Craig says.

Craig hailed the Crows' away win over Sydney last weekend, which broke a five-game losing streak and returned Adelaide into the top eight.

But he says a similar elite effort will again be required on Saturday afternoon to defeat a resurgent Carlton at AAMI Stadium.

"Last week demonstrated to our supporters that there is just another little level that we can go to and it's an elite level," Craig said on Friday.

"That is a level that we demonstrated last week. That was an elite level in terms of desire, intent, intensity, call it what you like, as good as what there is in the competition."

Craig said he would "soon" ink a new contract which will to take him past Gary Ayres as the Crows' longest serving coach.

But he was more concerned with the immediate task of eclipsing the 11th placed Blues, lurking just one win behind the seventh-placed Crows.

Craig was confident captain Simon Goodwin would overcome back and leg soreness to front a Carlton outfit buoyed by this week's re-signing of star forward Brendan Fevola.

"They are a very offensive team," Craig said of the Blues.

"They have obviously got a lot of talent in that side now with the number of draft picks they have been able to have over the years.

"Compared to maybe early in the year ... their more senior players are now playing really good footy.

"And as we have seen in a lot of clubs, when your senior players are playing well, it makes it a lot easier for the younger less experienced players to join in and also play some good footy."

Craig said Adelaide would need to strike the right balance in defending the Blues' midfield creators such as Chris Judd and Nick Stevens, and attack.

"It's a balancing act from a coaches perspective," he said.

"We need to be acutely aware at all times of defence, shutting players down or trying to keep players under control, versus us getting some attack from the midfield."

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