Blues must stay focussed, says Ratten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues must stay focussed, says Ratten

10/08/2010 04:58:49 PM Comments (0)

The AFL pressure on Carlton has eased dramatically, but coach Brett Ratten has warned their focus must remain intense.

The Blues put their season back on track with Friday night's outstanding 76-point win over Essendon.

They will start favourites on Saturday against improving Richmond at the MCG.

But with three rounds left, they could still miss the finals if they slip again.

They are only one game plus percentage ahead of the ninth-placed North Melbourne and after Richmond they face Geelong and then Fremantle in Perth.

Coach Brett Ratten said the major lesson he took out of last week's trials was the need for Carlton to never let up.

He pointed to Adelaide's mid-year revival after their disastrous start to the season as an example of how persistence can pay dividends.

"I had a real reminder about not taking your eye off the process, from week to week," Ratten said.

"Whether you win or lose, the focus comes on you or not, we've seen some really good examples this year about clubs really sticking to the process and it actually turns around for them.

"Regardless of the result, it's the way you go about it, not look at the win-loss ratio, actually look at the process from Monday to Friday, to get it right (on game day).

"Getting that right week to week is so critical and sometimes in our industry we can look too far ahead, maybe (with) three weeks out."

Ratten was scathing in his criticism of the team last week, following the disastrous round-18 loss to Collingwood, and his players responded superbly.

He admitted last Friday night was one of his most satisfying wins as a coach.

"When you get that pressure or focus on your football club, we made it fairly simple and the message was pretty clear for the players," he said.

"There was no greyness and I thought the response of the group - win, lose or draw - they came out and had a mighty go, they got their reward.

But Ratten noted the Tigers will be no pushovers this Saturday.

Richmond lost to Melbourne by 29 points on Sunday, but blew a lot of chances.

"We're looking purely at Richmond this week and it's a massive game," he said.

"They could have been up early in that game against Melbourne by probably three goals and just missed some opportunities - they're up and going.

"They're going well, they're going really well."

Ratten said there would be "minimal changes" to his team as a reward for the performance against Essendon.

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