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Bolton: Blues building strong foundations

Post-match | Brendon Bolton Brendon Bolton spoke to the media after Carlton's Round 16 loss to Melbourne.

Yet another close loss will serve as a foundation for Carlton to build its next flag tilt upon, Blues coach Brendon Bolton says.

Carlton was without onballer Patrick Cripps (left leg) and defender Simon White (left knee) in the second half against Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday after the pair suffered injuries. Nevertheless, it held a nine-point lead early in the final quarter after goals to Sam Petrevski-Seton, Jack Silvagni and skipper Marc Murphy.

However, the brave Blues couldn't hold on and fell eight points short of the Demons.

The result came a week after Carlton was competitive against ladder-leaders Adelaide before losing by 12 points.

A philosophical Bolton said after the game such experiences would play a crucial part in the development of a side that sat 16th after round 16.

"Like our supporters, losing always hurts. Obviously, we want to win, there's no doubt about that. We've been in really tight games quite a bit this year and I sort of link the analogy to life," Bolton said.

"Sometimes those who have grown up with hardship, difficult circumstances, if they're determined and they reflect enough, they end up becoming quite successful in life. There's many a story like that. In a funny way, that's our footy club right now.

"It's hard to see when you've got the emotion of the week and the loss, but these experiences forged through adversity will pay us back in the long game, I've got no doubt about that.

"Charlie Curnow again played some great footy. I think he took 10 marks. These experiences are gold for people like that."


Curnow was one young Blue to stand out. Deployed up forward and in just his 20th game, his aerial work was a highlight as he finished with 19 disposals, a game-high 10 score involvements, four contested marks and two goals.

He could become the fifth Blue to be nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star this season, after Caleb Marchbank, Sam Petrevski-Seton, David Cuningham and Jack Silvagni.

"We ask our players to commit, particularly in and around the contested side of the game," Bolton said.

"We watch a game of footy and we analyse it a lot as spectators or as coaches and you've just got to sometimes take a step back and understand what these athletes and players are being asked to do.

"That's why only a certain percentage of the population can play the game at the elite level, because they've got to commit, and Charlie Curnow's committing to the Carlton footy club."

Bolton lamented basic skill errors as a reason for the loss after the Blues led for about two-thirds of the match.

"They gave their heart and soul, our players, and they have for most of the year," Bolton said.

"We haven't quite completed plays. We got enough looks.

"I thought in the first quarter we had enough looks and didn't complete and put enough scoreboard pressure (on). Some little one per cent silly mistakes hurt us and they surged again late in the second (term)."

Carlton will aim for its sixth victory of the season when it hosts the floundering Western Bulldogs at the MCG next Sunday.