Blues stumble on media street - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues stumble on media street

By Roger Vaughan 12/04/2009 06:48:00 PM Comments (0)

After the summer's excitement and the awesome start to the AFL season, Carlton fell into a pothole on "media street".

Blues coach Brett Ratten described Saturday night's four-point loss to Essendon at the MCG as a reality check.

There is a widespread expectation that one of the league's traditional powers will break back into the top eight this season.

Carlton started with two wins and all this meant inevitable media attention, including a newspaper feature on Saturday that proclaimed their midfield of Chris Judd, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy and Nick Stevens as the game's new "Fab Four".

Denis Pagan, Brett Ratten's predecessor as Blues coach, has often sternly warned his charges about "media street" and the need for players to be wary of how they handle that part of the game.

"We've had some really positive press at our club, which is great, and people enjoy that side of things, to get a pat on the back," Ratten said.

"But it is an even competition, you put one foot wrong and you get brought back down to earth.

"It was a good lesson for our group."

Ratten thought that some players had perhaps started believing their own publicity, to their detriment against the Bombers.

"The press we've had during the week, we made a mention about our focus and to make sure we are switched on, and these things shouldn't distract us from the job at hand," he said.

"I think they did in the end, maybe a little bit.

"But that's footy - you're going to get good press, bad press, whatever - you've got front up, the siren goes, 22 v 22, and you've got to give it all you got."

Even so, Carlton were on the way to killing the game off when they dominated the first term, only to waste too many shots at goal and leave the door open for Essendon.

Ratten was also frustrated that Carlton were in control of the clearances, but did not apply enough pressure once they had the ball in attack.

"We'd kick it in, they'd score - it's like, we're doing the work, how can we retain the footy in there?," Ratten said

"It's been a big plus for us, the forward 50m pressure, but I think ... we only had five inside 50 tackles, so that's where we got let down."

Blues forward Simon Wiggins, one of their best, had to leave the field during the last term.

But Ratten said that was only due to "utter exhaustion" and Wiggins should be available for Saturday's SCG clash against Sydney.

Key forward Brendan Fevola was on crutches after the match as he continues to struggle with a bruised heel.

Ratten said that was a precaution and again does not expect his spearhead to be sidelined.

Fevola was wayward, kicking 4.7 and another shot went out of bounds.

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