Blues mental strength growing: Ratten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues mental strength growing: Ratten

By Sam Lienert 20/05/2010 03:18:16 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has praised his team's growing mental toughness, revealing they fought through a pre-game malaise against Port Adelaide on Sunday.

Big wins over 2009 grand finalists Geelong and St Kilda in the past month have stamped the Blues as one of the AFL's form teams.

But asked whether they had bridged the gap to the league's top echelon, Ratten instead pointed to the mental strength shown in their comeback win over the Power.

"That's our constant battle with the group, to make sure that our appetite and I suppose our attitude we bring to the game is very critical in our performance," Ratten said.

"Because we saw last week, for which I give the group huge praise, they initially thought they were (mentally) off after the warm-up outside.

"They spoke about that as a group: `How are we going to change this? We don't seem to be switched on.'

"... Credit where it's due, they tried to turn it around, address it.

"We had a similar scenario against Essendon (in round three) and that went for four quarters ... last week it only went for about eight minutes.

"So I think there was a huge improvement mentally."

Ratten said the ability to overcome mental troughs that inevitably occur during a season was an attribute of great teams.

"You look at Geelong and I think they would have that, that they might not be switched on right at the start," he said.

"They've just got the ability like good racehorses, or just good teams, they just get their head out and they win games of football."

"It was a real good sign of maturity for our group."

Ratten said that intensity would be needed on Sunday against Hawthorn, whose only win in the past seven rounds came by three points against bottom-placed Richmond last weekend.

He said the Hawks' quantity of "A-graders" meant they could click at any time and their 2-6 record was misleading, given they have lost four games by 16 points or less.

The Blues will be without suspended key position player Jarrad Waite and Ratten was disappointed with Waite's lack of discipline in bumping Port's Jason Davenport high.

He said Waite was also reported in the VFL several weeks ago and pushed the line with a free kick for high contact in round seven.

"Within a three or four-week block he could have been reported three times, so we've spoken to Jarrad about that and focussing his attack or aggression in the right manner."

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