Carlton confident of bridging gap - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton confident of bridging gap

Robert Grant 11/06/2011 11:27:04 AM Comments (0)

Carlton are confident of bridging the gap to AFL pacesetters Geelong and Collingwood over the second half of the season.

The Blues will take a step towards consolidating their spot in the top four when they meet the battling Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Carlton's stated aim is to win a final this year and they remain well on track to achieve their target but could come undone early in September if they cannot develop the armoury to match the elite sides.

Geelong and Collingwood are the only sides to defeat them this year.

But Carlton assistant coach Gavin Brown said on Saturday he was confident that the side's improvement would continue over the remaining home and away rounds to the point where the Blues will play a significant part in the series.

"I think we showed (fight) in both of those games - Collingwood, I think it was the first half of the second quarter that they got us but the remainder of the whole of the game was very close," Brown said.

"And obviously the Geelong game could have gone either way.

"There's no reason to believe we can't (make up the difference), albeit we lost both those games. Collingwood was by 28 points and Geelong was under a kick."

He said that Carlton were now playing with confidence in every game and injuries were not as damaging as they had been in the past few years.

"I just think at the moment there's a fair bit of consistency where we're in every game and we give ourselves every opportunity to win, being competitive every week as opposed to being up and down," Brown said.

"There's been quarters and halves where we've probably waned a little bit but on the whole I think the club's been very competitive each and every week.

"We've had a lot of close games and we've won most of them - and we've got a bit of depth so that when we've had injuries we've been able to cover those reasonably well.''

Despite Brisbane's lowly ladder position, Brown said the Lions were capable of upsets and Carlton would need to be on guard tomorrow.

"They've had some really competitive games so there's no way we'll be taking them lightly.

"They're capable of playing some really good footy and we've seen that this year, although it hasn't shown on the win-loss board for them.

"Every game you go and play at this stage of the year is crucial and particularly given it's a home game against Brisbane it's pretty important."

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