Stevens sees plenty of sting in Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stevens sees plenty of sting in Blues

By Guy Hand 28/07/2008 07:08:45 PM Comments (0)

Carlton vice-captain Nick Stevens declared the sky is the limit for his AFL club after one of their greatest fightbacks - but only the Blues players can decide how high they're prepared to reach this year.

The Blues' remarkable 65-point second-half turnaround to beat the second-placed Western Bulldogs by 28 points at the weekend has reinvigorated their hopes of making the top eight.

Carlton captain Chris Judd drove the steamroller over the Dogs, with Stevens, Brendan Fevola and unheralded Simon Wiggins taking turns at hitting the accelerator and changing gears with gusto.

It was irresistible football of the highest order, though Stevens said any momentum gained would be lost if the Blues could not back it up with another win against fellow finals-chasers Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

"If we can put four quarters together, the sky's the limit and you can beat anyone on your given day," Stevens said.

"Where it takes us is up to us. We're a young group and it's up to us how far we go.

"Now we've got to concentrate on the Crows this week.

"There's no point having a win like that if we go no good this week. It's up to us to go and be super-competitive and improve again."

Carlton are 11th, but less than two wins out of fifth place.

While the victory shows the Blues' rebuilding is on track, they are also gaining a reputation as the competition's fourth-quarter specialists after again finishing over the top of their rivals.

The Blues' past five wins have all come with powerful late finishes - Fremantle (round nine), Port Adelaide (round 11), Collingwood (round 12), Richmond (round 14) before reaching a zenith with the late effort against the Bulldogs.

Stevens believes his side's fitness has improved markedly in the past 12 months, and the challenge is now to string together several quarters of the same type of football they are playing late in matches.

"It's been our strength and conditioning that's pushed us along faster than what people would have thought," Stevens said.

"Once you get that, you get a bit of belief.

"Once you get a young group that believes in each other and believes in the game plan, it's up to you how quick you grow.

"There's not many sides who can play four quarters of that sort of footy. If we can get up there for three quarters, three and a half quarters, we're going to be pretty hard to beat."

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