Blues need to stop the rot: Ratten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues need to stop the rot: Ratten

04/08/2010 03:26:25 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has dismissed the fierce AFL rivalry with Essendon, saying the Blues' No.1 focus on Friday night must be winning contested possessions.

Five days after the horrific 48-point loss to Collingwood, the Blues' season is teetering on the brink.

They have won only two of their last seven games and have a six-game losing streak against the Bombers.

Asked on Wednesday about areas that were non-negotiables for his players, Ratten replied: "Contested footy is right up there, when you look at that game, Carlton v Collingwood, (crowd of) 80,000 ... 12 minutes into the game I think it was 24-10, contested ball.

"That tells the biggest story of the game, I think."

Ratten has called on the Blues to re-define their season over the remaining four weeks of the home-and-away season, with contested ball the main area where they must improve.

"We have four weeks to do something about it, we're in the eight, we're seventh, our performance (against Collingwood) was unacceptable ... it is about us," Ratten said.

"It (playing Essendon) doesn't matter, regardless of who we've played and where we've played, the last month has been poor in that area (contested ball).

"We need to address it, right here, right now.

"It probably is partially a line in the sand, I wouldn't say it's full line in the sand.

"But it's maybe the biggest defining moment of our season so far."

Ratten slammed his players immediately after the Collingwood loss and the team had a Sunday meeting to further dissect their worst performance of the season.

But Ratten said Sunday's post-mortem was not a "yell fest" and he has backed Carlton to bounce back from the Collingwood loss.

He added that the second term against Collingwood and parts of the third were as low as it had been for Carlton this season.

"I've seen patches where we haven't got it exactly right, but in the Collingwood game, it was actually nearly four quarters," Ratten said.

"The last quarter was flattering for us, that we got back in the game, whether it was Collingwood dropping off or us getting back into the groove.

"We can do it, it's just an attitude at the moment.

"Whether it's the confidence side of it (or) whether it's becoming more introverted about your own performance and not helping and assisting others, or being reactive - that's part of it as well."

Ratten added it was vital that the Blues stayed positive and remembered how much better they had played in the first half of the season.

"We have to respond from that performance, we have to turn it around, but the focus seems very `doom' on us, as a group," he said.

"I find that very, very interesting.

"We're in the eight, we can do something about it, we have the opportunity to change our season.

"We can look as we're doomed and if we can talking in that manner ... you start to believe it. You can change it."

Ratten has forecast up to four changes, but he said captain Chris Judd definitely would play on Friday after suffering a bruised chest muscle against the Magpies.

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