A defiant Mick Malthouse says he still has faith in his players and his own coaching methods after Carlton crashed to a shock 23-point defeat at the hands of Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.
The Blues, winless four rounds into the season, struggled to move the ball with any confidence for long periods against a Demons’ side that won just two games last season and hadn’t registered a win before Saturday.
Despite the disastrous start to the campaign, Malthouse vowed to stay true to his vision for the team.
“At the moment we’re a football side without confidence, we’re getting beaten badly around certain areas of the game, we haven’t got enough contributors and we’re not scoring,” Malthouse said.
“That doesn’t mean I’m going to throw out the game structure because we’re 0-4.
“I’m not going to start second guessing myself because we’re 0-4.
“At the moment we’re a long way off clearly. We’re zip and four, there’s no hiding from that, but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost faith in the side.”
Malthouse refused to be drawn on whether playing finals was still a realistic goal for Carlton after the horror start, but said his belief in the playing group remained strong.
“I’m not going to drop my expectations,” he said. “We’ve got to rally. We’ve got to go back and if it means starting again we’ll start to look at what we need to do.
“We’re all disappointed, but you can’t stop the world from moving around. You get on it, you stay on it and you do something about it.”
Malthouse conceded neither he nor the players would be immune to criticism and scrutiny having dropped the first four games, but defended his strategy and coaching style.
“I don’t like doing any pump ups, but my last seven years in AFL football have all been in finals,” he said. “The game hasn’t changed dramatically in the space of six months.
“I hope it (the media scrutiny) comes on me and not my players because I’m old enough and have been around long enough. It can come on me all it likes – it’s part of the game and if you don’t cop that you don’t cop anything because that’s just the way it is.”
The Blues will likely need to make at least two changes to the side to face the Western Bulldogs next week with Troy Menzel (quad) and Michael Jamison (shoulder) both knocked out of the game.