Gibbs says Blues ready for major AFL test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gibbs says Blues ready for major AFL test

Greg Buckle 13/07/2011 05:18:02 PM Comments (0)

Carlton AFL defender Bryce Gibbs says the big occasion of playing Collingwood before a packed house at the MCG will bring out the best in the Blues.

Gibbs says the fourth-placed Blues have nothing to fear against the defending premiers.

Carlton's loss to Western Bulldogs last week was their fourth for the year, while the Magpies (13-1) are flag favourites after giving North Melbourne a 117-point hiding.

The Blues will be without tall defender Michael Jamison and key forward Jarrad Waite through injury, but Gibbs says Brett Ratten's men are powering towards a third successive finals campaign with their self belief intact.

Gibbs said the Blues were still tinkering with their game plan when they lost to Collingwood by 28 points in round three.

"We played some really good footy in that game. We matched it with them for three-and-a-half quarters," Gibbs said on Wednesday.

"I don't think there's anything to fear. We'll take some stuff that we used on them last time and, hopefully, we can not switch off for that half a quarter.

"Because if you do, Collingwood are a very good side and they can really hurt you.

"We've got nothing to lose. They're such a great side and they're setting the bar so high.

"I don't think many have tipped us to win this week and we're fine with that.

"We need to come out and play some bold attacking footy.

"We were very disappointing in the second half last week and what a way to come out against the arch-rivals Collingwood and bounce back."

The Blues have few options to replace Jamison and Waite, although key-position player Setanta o'hAilpin is available after overcoming a hand injury.

"They are big losses but we're very confident we can fill those shoes," Gibbs said.

"Whoever gets the nod, it's up to them to make the most of it.

"That fire in the belly just naturally comes to you during the week, knowing you're playing Collingwood.

"That rivalry's there. It will be full-on from the first bounce.

"You don't need to get motivated too much more."

Carlton are determined to go into the finals with a top-four spot, giving them a strong chance to improve on their elimination-final defeats of 2009 and 2010.

"It's getting to that stage of the year now where we've really got a strong belief in our game plan and what we're doing and we're really rehearsing for the finals now," Gibbs said.

"Our aim going into this year was we have to win a final.

"Playing Collingwood this week, there's no better team to test your skills against.

"We definitely believe we're good enough."

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