Carlton coach Mick Malthouse wants shorter AFL games and more interchange players as his Blues limp to the finish line of their season.
Carlton suffered a 103-point drubbing from Port Adelaide on Friday night, with Malthouse saying his players are “desperately tired”.
“There’s no excuse for 100 points (loss), let me start by saying that,” Malthouse said.
“But having been there before, it’s so desperately tough to get up every week, fighting against a side that is either in the eight or fighting for a position in the eight.”
Malthouse had 11 injured players unavailable for selection against Port, a toll compounded when captain Marc Murphy was concussed in the second term.
Murphy was taken to an Adelaide hospital for scans, which cleared him of any structural damage.
Malthouse has long argued for more interchange players to ease the burden on players, saying six on the bench would be ideal.
“I argued this case in 1985 in my second year (as coach) and they all looked at me like I was a man from wherever,” he said.
“I don’t suspect for one moment it will ever get near that (six interchange players).
“But I think the way the game has gone, the power athlete today is greater than what he was yesteryear.
“The intensity of the game – we can make out whatever we like about us old players – the game is comprehensively better and comprehensively quicker and stronger.”
Malthouse said modern rules also prevented the game from halting frequently.
“I certainly wouldn’t reduce the number of games a year,” he said.
“But I still think, without a shadow of doubt, any game that is 80 minutes (long) and ends up going for 50 per cent more has a real problem in today’s environment for entertainment.
“And that blows out games and it also blows out players.
“If you have got a good long list, you’ll get by. If you haven’t, you’ll just struggle right the way through.”
Carlton will miss their finals, their season ending next Saturday with a MCG fixture against Essendon.