THE result wasn’t quite what he was after, but Kade Simpson was at least satisfied that he took another positive step towards round one after Carlton’s NAB Cup loss to the Hawks on Saturday night.

Simpson, 23, gathered 24 possessions and went inside 50 three times during the 34-point loss and is confident his form is building nicely.

“I’m pretty happy with where my fitness is at, I’ve had a pretty good pre-season, but the real test is going to be round one and that’s what I’m aiming for,” Simpson said.

It followed a 15-disposal performance against the Power the week before which he said was another example of a poor start by the Blues.

“That’s twice in a row now we’ve been jumped in the first 10 or 15 minutes, so it’s something we'll have to look at, but I think the boys did well to get back into the game and not get blown out of the water,” he said of the Hawks’ first-term onslaught.

“I think our pressure was pretty good and our attack on the ball was better after quarter-time. Early in the first quarter they beat us at that, but we picked that up in the last three quarters. We tried to match their physicality and I think the boys did pretty well at that.

“But it is hard to come back from such a bad start when you’re so far down.”

Coach Brett Ratten kept his players behind closed doors long after the final siren, but Simpson said his post-match address had been more of a lesson than a spray.

“He was pretty positive,” Simpson said.

“He just went through the game and all the areas we need to work on, it was just a normal game review; he didn’t yell or anything like that. He was pretty calm; that’s what the NAB Cup’s for just trying to work out what you need to work on and get ready for round one.”