Blues' players sick of AFL finals losses - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues' players sick of AFL finals losses

Chris Leitch 18/09/2011 03:01:38 PM Comments (0)

Carlton players were feeling "sick to the stomach" after their finals campaign came to a heartbreaking end for the third straight AFL season.

The Blues lost sudden-death finals to Sydney by five points last season and Brisbane by seven points in 2009, before chalking up their first finals victory since 2001 against Essendon last week.

But Carlton's hopes of a preliminary final berth were brought to a crashing halt after suffering a three-point semi-final loss to West Coast in Perth on Saturday night.

Blues midfielder Andrew Carrazzo said every close finals loss was even harder to take than the one before.

"Everyone just feels sick in the stomach, just the way we played and to come so close, and to fall just short, is really disheartening," Carrazzo said.

"We'll just look back on the game and how we played and a few little errors we made but it doesn't get any easier. It gets worse.

"Ratts (coach Brett Ratten) spoke about how everyone has to raise the bar and there's improvement in everyone from Juddy right down to Chris Yarran.

"If we're going to challenge the top teams and come top-four in September next year, we've just got to improve. That's the reality of it."

Carlton defender Michael Jamison said Ratten had done a great job to take the side forward and he could not have asked any more of a coach.

"You can see the hurt on his face with what he's been through as a player and now as a coach," Jamison said.

"As Ratts said to us, we'll be proud but we certainly don't accept the loss and be happy with it. I'm sure it will drive the boys this pre-season even further.

"We've improved so much as a group in the past year and for that to only equate into one further week in the finals, we feel like we're such a much better football side than to only improve on one week more."

While Jamison stressed the pro-West Coast crowd was not a factor, it emphasised the importance of a top-four finish and securing a home final.

"That's the goal, we want top four next year. You don't look too far ahead obviously but (if you finish) top four then you play the games on a bit more your terms," he said.

"We've had so many individuals step up and become elite players and younger guys step into players that really earn their spot and deserve their spot."

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