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Harford: We had to learn to win

AFLW post-match: Blues Watch Carlton's press conference after round 6 match against the Brisbane

THE mental resolve of the group. That’s been the key takeaway for Daniel Harford from his team over the past month.

Carlton made it three wins from its past four games after accounting for Brisbane at Ikon Park on Sunday afternoon, going to the top of Conference B in the process.

And with just one game remaining in the home-and-away season, Harford spoke of his delight at having “control of our own destiny” prior to the Round 7 clash with the Western Bulldogs.

After the events of last year and without a win in the opening fortnight of the season, the senior coach said that came down to the group gaining belief in their own abilities.

“I have no doubt [the group had to learn to win],” Harford said.

“The players were quite anxious about that from, which we spoke about openly. We had to deal with that situation and mindset because if that lasts throughout the season, we can’t progress.

“We needed a positive outcome to break that cycle so you can reset your goals and focus on what you can do.”

That circuit-breaker came in Round 3 when the Blues headed to Blacktown and recorded a comprehensive win over GWS.

From there, the Blues have surged to put themselves in the box seat for a finals berth.

“If what’s behind you is really bad and negative, sometimes it’s hard to let go of that and you hang onto those emotions… we had to find a way to break through and we did that against the Giants,” he said.

“Despite the fact we lost the next game to Geelong, we grew from that really strong to know that we can achieve things. What that is at the end of the day, we don’t know.

“But are we better? Absolutely. And that’s a positive.”

With the Bulldogs to come next week at Whitten Oval, Harford said the Blues wouldn’t rest on their laurels — they were out to make their destiny a certainty.

Harford’s Blues have a healthy percentage advantage over Geelong and Brisbane, but a top two berth isn’t a foregone conclusion in Conference B.

“We’re not getting too excited, we’re really happy with the performance because it puts us in a good spot,” he said.

“We have control of our own destiny.

“The way that the matches roll in next week, it’s interesting what happens in Conference B. We have to make sure we’re on our game.”