Blues spoilt for choice against North - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues spoilt for choice against North

By Robert Grant 09/06/2010 05:11:08 PM Comments (0)

Surging Carlton face an embarrassment of riches at the selection table ahead of Friday night's clash with North Melbourne.

The fifth-placed Blues will be chasing a third straight victory in the match at Etihad Stadium which will celebrate 25 years of night football.

Chief among the Blues' selection dilemmas is midfielder Brock McLean, who was surprisingly axed for last weekend's win over his former club Melbourne.

McLean responded with a big performance at VFL level, with key forward Lachie Henderson and running defender Shaun Grigg also among the best for the Northern Bullants.

"It's going to be difficult ... there's a few headaches for us," Carlton coach Brett Ratten said on Wednesday.

Others pushing for a recall after recovering from injury problems include Paul Bower, Chris Yarran, Kane Lucas and Dennis Armfield.

"They are all ready to go but whether they play reserves or seniors, we'll have to sit down and look at the risk and make sure the reward is worth it," Ratten said.

The situation is a dramatic turnaround from just a few weeks ago.

"If you had asked me three weeks ago, we played three players that had played half a game of footy in three weeks, so we did have our injury concerns," he said.

"It's great that players are coming back, but we really have to manage our list going forward."

Ratten said Carlton was in the same position as a number of teams around the eight, trying to get momentum while having to deal with continually changing lists.

The issue means Carlton has not yet been able to string together three straight wins.

"It's been a little bit of a bogey for us trying to get that three in a row, but it's probably more about our momentum in the season," Ratten said.

"It's a critical time for most teams, just to get that momentum and keep it going especially towards the break."

Meanwhile, North coach Brad Scott says the Kangaroos are desperately seeking credibility after their poor record against top sides this season.

"When you come up against quality sides sometimes they can expose you and make you look second-rate," Scott said.

"The players are well aware of that and that's happened at stages this year, but we've also played patches of very good footy.

"I don't think you gain any credibility in this competition until you at least compete against a genuinely good side and a contender," he said.

"There's no doubt we've let ourselves down in the games against quality opposition, but I think we play our best football when we concentrate on the way we want to play, not the opposition.

"When you're off the pace by even just a little bit, good sides will really punish you."

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