Emotion might not help Cats: Simpson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Emotion might not help Cats: Simpson

Sam Lienert 19/05/2011 06:38:04 PM Comments (0)

Carlton midfielder Kade Simpson is not convinced the emotion surrounding the death of Bob Davis will help Geelong in Friday night's AFL clash.

The Etihad Stadium encounter will be preceded by a video tribute and minute's silence in honour of the much-loved Cats' premiership player and coach, who died on Monday night.

Geelong players will run out through a banner that pays tribute to Davis and wear black armbands in his memory.

Simpson said the emotion generated by the tributes to Davis would not necessarily work in Geelong's favour.

"They come out firing every week, that's what makes them such a great side," he said.

"But obviously emotionally it will have an effect - whether it's good or bad, I'm not sure.

"Probably guys will reflect after the game, because he was such a legend of their club and also the AFL."

Simpson said the Blues were happy to play their part in honouring Davis' memory.

While the Cats are unbeaten, fourth-placed Carlton can take confidence from having won two of the clubs' past three meetings.

Simpson nominated Carlton's tackling intensity as a key to those wins and said the Blues had improved further in that area this season.

"Obviously tackling and pressure usually goes all right against them," he said.

"When they have a lot of possessions, as they do, if you can put a bit of pressure on them when they're trying to go forward, it helps and it helps our defenders out."

He also believes Carlton's pace can cause Geelong problems, particularly Jeff Garlett, Eddie Betts and Andrew Walker in attack.

"If they're up and about it will go a long way to us winning," Simpson said.

Carlton's only loss so far this year was by 28 points to Collingwood in round three.

Simpson said playing the Cats, who they regard as the AFL's other benchmark side, would allow them to measure the improvement they have made since.

"We feel we've improved in all those areas that matter - tackling, contested ball, clearances, we're going pretty well," he said.

"Obviously Geelong are a good clearance team so we're going to have to really step up again this week."

The Blues called up former Melbourne midfielder Brock McLean for his first senior game since round 10 last season, while defender Jeremy Laidler returns from injury.

The Cats are still missing key forward Cameron Mooney (knee) and lost captain Cameron Ling (shoulder), along with Tom Lonergan (calf) and Daniel Menzel (shins).

Veteran Darren Milburn and youngster Taylor Hunt return from injury, with ruckman Nathan Vardy handed an AFL debut.

A crowd of close to the Etihad Stadium record of 54,444 for an AFL game is anticipated.

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