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Arnell: 'We learnt plenty'

Game Changers Update | Round 4 Carlton Media's Grace Phillips brings you all the news from Ikon Park as the Blues prepare for their Round 4 clash against Melbourne.

Carlton AFLW captain Lauren Arnell says her side is in a “very good position” ahead of its clash against an in-form Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday.

The Blues had top spot within their grasp against Adelaide on Sunday before an Erin Phillips wonder-goal consigned them to a three-point loss – their first of the inaugural season.

The defeat saw Carlton drop out of the coveted top two, but Arnell said the Blues had quickly switched their sights to their next opponent.

“It’s important for the whole group to remain positive and remember that we’re in a very good position in this competition right now,” Arnell said. 

“We’ve put a real emphasis on culture and we’ve always said we’re 28-strong in our leadership. The responsibility for all of us as individuals and as a group is to stay focused on what we do.”

That focus and leadership will be put to the test against the red-hot Demons, who are coming off wins over Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs.

The Blues defeated Melbourne by 43 points in a practice match at Ikon Park a month ago, piling on six unanswered goals in a blistering final term.

Making the challenge harder this time round is the fact that the Blues will be without injured key defenders Sarah Last (ACL) and Bri Davey (back).

Star defender Bri Davey was one of the casualties from the Blues' loss to Adelaide. (Photo: AFL Media)

Arnell is confident, however, that the lessons learned against Adelaide will hold the Blues in good stead on Saturday.

“We learnt plenty. Going away as a group for the first time was a great opportunity to spend extra time together away from the footy club,” she said.

“Playing in a different environment is really important and that will help us going into the game at Casey Fields this weekend. 

“For two weeks in a row, we’ve had the experience of performing under pressure when the game is close. I think we’ll be better for it.”

Carlton faces Melbourne in AFLW action on Saturday as part of a double-header with the JLT Community Series.