CARLTON defender Jacob Weitering remained a constant in the Blues' backline despite falling 19-points short to the unrelenting Pies in Round 8.
With injuries to key personnel in Kade Simpson, Nic Newman and Sam Docherty, the 21-year-old has emerged as an on-field leader as he approaches career-best form.
Weitering spoke to media on the Blues team-defence mentality following the their defeat to Collingwood.
“It’s a next man up mentality and we’ll go again next week,” said Weitering.
“There is a little bit of extra responsibility, but nothing that the players that come in can’t shoulder as well.”
It's not the best news for Plowie and Willo, but this weekend's match could see the return of a key defender.— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) May 13, 2019
Check out the full injury report for this round.#BoundByBlue
The youngster lamented the final quarter fade-out that saw Carlton give up an 11-point lead at the 20-minute mark of the final term.
“The last quarter we just couldn’t get the fundamentals right and we couldn’t finish it off,” he said.
“We’ve had some growth – the system is working really well; some players are really coming on.”
“But we’re not getting the wins and that’s what we’re out here to do, so there is a sense of frustration.”
Weitering was quick to shoulder some of the responsibility of the continuous siege inside 50 that let the Pies overrun the valiant Blues.
“We didn’t take our foot off the peddle but we went into probably a more defensive mindset,” he said of the final minutes.
“There was plenty of entries in those last ten minutes, so we were under siege as a backline and unfortunately we as individuals couldn’t get some fundamentals right.”
Despite injury concerns, the Blues backline remains their strongest asset – currently ranking second in the overall competition for rebound 50s.
Weitering own progress so far this year has been integral to the Blues' backline, with the humble defender quick to credit his development his off-field mentors.
“It’s been a positive for me and the backline at that,” he said.
“There’s a few people that I could probably credit with my growth – Bolts is obviously a big one, he’s backed me from the very start.”
“The pre-season we had under Andrew Russell was terrific for me as an individual and as a team.”