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Keeping not panicking

Post-match | Lauren Arnell Lauren Arnell spoke to Carlton Media after the Round 4 clash against Western Bulldogs.

CARLTON coach Damien Keeping says he still has faith in his side’s game plan, despite their heavy loss on Friday night.

The Blues were completely outclassed by the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval, going down by 71 points - the biggest margin in AFLW history.

Keeping said his side lacked endeavour around the contest, particularly in an opening half where they were held goalless.

“I think it’s our level of intensity that we had early, that really opened the game up and (made) opportunities for them,” he said.

“When we started to have a bit of a mindset shift and refocus in the second half, we started to look a little bit different out there, so there’s clearly some work that we need to do around that part of the game.”

Carlton has struggled to hit the scoreboard this season with just 10 goals in four games, and last night suffered its third goalless half of the season.

Keeping insisted that it is the side’s issues winning the ball, and not their style of play, that is causing their scoring woes.

“It starts with getting the footy, and we didn’t do that early… clearly we’ve got some work to do around our efficiency with the ball,” he said.

“We can talk about game style and the way in which we play, but there’s a level of intent I think you have to have to win the footy first, and then we’ll worry about doing something with it.”

Despite concern from sections of the media, Keeping said he won’t let a lack of scoring change the team’s philosophy.

“We’re really clear on the elements of our game that make it work, and we’re focussed on getting those right rather than any external measures that might be put against us,” he said.

The Blues were forced to field an understrength side last night, with Tayla Harris, Gerogia Gee and Lauren Brazzale all ruled out during the week.

Bri Davey had already been crossed out for the season, Danielle Hardiman was a late out due to illness and Katie Loynes was injured in the warm-up last night and unable to play.

The Blues were soundly beaten in Round 4 at Whitten Oval. (Photo: AFL Photos)

But with the Bulldogs also missing key players Katie Brennan and Isabel Huntington, Keeping refused to use his injury list as an excuse.

“There’s no doubt that we had some talent off the park… but if we look at the performance tonight the Bulldogs were in a similar situation as far as personnel goes, and they performed exceptionally well,” he said.

And he admitted his side had no answer for Bulldogs forward Brooke Lochland, who kicked an AFLW-record seven goals for the match.

“She (Lochland) has had an exceptional game, in fact I think she’s had an exceptional season and has been building to a game like that,” he said.

“We had a number of players try to counteract her ability, and we weren’t able to get the job done individually or collectively from a defensive point of view on her.”

With two consecutive losses and a crucial trip to Adelaide next week, Keeping said his side would look to build through the adversity.

“We continue to grow and learn from those challenges that we’ve got in front of us from week to week,” he said.

“The way in which we’re playing, we’re not executing quite as well as we want to… we came prepared and ready to go, and we didn’t deliver.”