Blues wary of St Kilda despite poor start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues wary of St Kilda despite poor start

Greg Buckle 08/05/2011 03:45:03 PM Comments (0)

Carlton's Michael Jamison faces a crucial test of his improvement as an AFL player when he takes on Nick Riewoldt on Monday.

The 24-year-old North Ballarat product was ready for the big assignment on the St Kilda skipper after showing enormous improvement in his fifth season, according to Carlton assistant coach Alan Richardson.

"Jamison has been super impressive," Richardson said as the Blues prepared for Monday night's round-seven clash at Etihad Stadium.

"He's one of many who are starting to mature as players and having a bigger impact on the game.

"It depends on where Riewoldt plays. The closer to goal that Riewoldt gets, then Jammo (Jamison) will probably take him."

Fremantle's shock loss to Richmond on Saturday leaves Carlton (18 points) with a chance to consolidate their position just below powerhouses Collingwood and Geelong on the AFL ladder.

"It certainly opened up the door. If they had won, they would have taken third spot," Richardson said.

Tall utility Bret Thornton has been named on a seven-man interchange bench for the Blues.

"(Thornton) is in the mix. He's been in pretty good form at VFL level and I'm sure if he gets the opportunity, he'll go well," Richardson said.

Richardson explained that the Blues, after losing the elimination final in the past two years, were determined to improve this season.

"We're playing pretty different footy this year. There's no doubt we've improved the defensive side of our game, our tackle pressure," he said.

"That's probably been the focus of pre-season.

"The playing group have wanted to make sure they get the respect of the footy industry with the way they win contested footy and tackle the opposition when they win the ball.

"We've certainly been making sure we're in a position to win a final.

"When you're playing finals two years in a row and getting beaten by narrow margins, you should aim higher."

Beaten grand finalists St Kilda had only one win and a draw from the first six rounds, but Richardson said they were still a dangerous unit.

"I don't know whether it's fear. It's just an understanding that they're a great footy team," Richardson said.

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