Crows squad could be best ever: Craig - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows squad could be best ever: Craig

Sam Lienert 24/04/2011 04:46:13 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig has urged fans to maintain their faith in a Crows squad he rates as the most exciting in the AFL club's history.

That is a huge claim to make about a group of players that have taken the team to a third straight loss, following a terrible fade out against Port Adelaide with a 11.19 (85) to 12.7 (79) defeat against Carlton on Saturday night.

But while acknowledging the second half against the Power was substandard and that only Carlton's inaccuracy meant they got as close as they did against the Blues, Craig said there were some good signs.

"It's the most exciting group I think this club's ever had and I can just see this group of players doing great things, I really mean that," he said.

"It's going to take some time, but to come back against Carlton, who I think are in really good shape ... that will be a good experience for them, to play against a quality side in a quick game of footy and to hang in there."

Having come off their woeful capitulation against the Power and trailed by 27 points at the first change against the Blues, Craig said it showed genuine character for a young side to fight back and hit the front in the last term.

"You don't get that sort of response from a group of players that don't have any mental capacity and fibre about them, that's why I think they'll be such a good group," he said.

He said a few costly moments in the final minutes, in which players diverted from the team pattern of play or made simple errors, were symptoms of youth and inexperience.

The Crows were also thrashed in the battles for contested ball, and Craig said some dips in that area throughout the match was another aspect that would improve with experience.

"There's a list of them that are still learning how to play hard-nosed strong AFL footy," he said.

"We're a fair way away at the moment, but if we keep doing that we'll accelerate pretty quickly."

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