Carlton coach praises Henderson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton coach praises Henderson

Greg Buckle 30/07/2011 09:07:59 AM Comments (0)

MELBOURNE July 30 AAP - Carlton coach Brett Ratten heaped praise on Lachie Henderson's effort after the defender took on one of the AFL's most dangerous key forwards and won a handsome victory.

The Geelong College product was forced to play a major defensive role with star backman Michael Jamison absent through injury.

North's star forward Drew Petrie was held to just two goals as Carlton overpowered North Melbourne in the last quarter on Friday night to win 11.14 (80) to 9.8 (62) in front of 41,332 fans at Etihad Stadium in their round-19 clash.

The win strengthened Carlton's claims to a top-four spot for September.

A delighted Ratten said Henderson was continuing to build his confidence.

"It has just taken a bit of time and momentum," Ratten said, adding that Henderson had an injury-interrupted pre-season.

"It was probably one of his best games for our footy club. Petrie in the last six or seven weeks has been outstanding.

"So he played on a very good player and won that battle.

"That gives us a real shot of confidence in his ability to go and play on good players back there and do the job.

"Even players in good form, Jammo's going to play at full-back, but there's going to be games that he gets beaten.

"So we need to have a Plan B and Lachie's going extremely well."

Ratten said Henderson, who has played 43 games, was a baby in terms of his development.

"He's only 21, he's a baby," Ratten said.

Henderson was the No.8 pick in the 2007 Draft and was traded by Brisbane to Carlton in 2009 in the deal for Brendan Fevola.

"We expect so much from these early draft picks. We have to be a big patient because they just take time.

"You can't put a man's body on them really quickly. They can't build and hold that fitness because it's harder to run six kilos heavier.

"It's all about confidence for them."

Ratten was also thrilled with the game of running half-back Chris Yarran, who had 27 disposals and went on several runs downfield.

"We might cut back to about 10 or 12 (bounces) so we can see the free players in front sometimes," Ratten said.

"It's a tough one. It's about giving players licence and letting them play to their strengths, but also not allowing to interfere with the style of play and what we want to do as a team.

"We'll probably have to have a look at that and maybe take six or seven bounces out of his performance."

The Blues host Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.

Ratten said Dennis Armfield, who was replaced at three-quarter time for 200-game milestone player Ryan Houlihan, was expected to be fit for the Demons clash.

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