CARLTON Senior Coach David Teague addressed the media this morning ahead of Friday night's clash with St Kilda.
On Charlie Curnow being available for selection:
Charlie was keen to play last week and put his hand up, but we weren’t going to rush the process. We stuck to our plan and he got through that well. He’s available for selection and if he gets through training today, that’s potentially what will happen in terms of picking him, which will give him a chance to play AFL football again.
There’s excitement. He annoyed the living daylights out of me last week wanting to play. For one, he thought he was capable and ready to go, and two it was Ed’s 200th. He came to me at the start of this week and said ‘I’m not going to annoy you this week, but I’m ready to go again’.
He’s keen, he’s excited: don’t get me wrong, there are going to be periods along this journey where he is still going to be finding that confidence and belief again, in his body and his form. We’ll be there, we’ll support him and we’ll understand that he’s not going to be at his absolute best after his time off.
We’ll always back in his efforts and he lives our trademark really well and that’s what we expect from him if we pick him this weekend. Even if we don’t pick him, he’ll play in the VFL and we still expect the same standards from him.
On Harry McKay’s availability:
For Harry, he’s got to get through training before we’d consider him to be able to play. He’s got some markers he’ll have to hit: at the stage, it’s unlikely, but he said it has progressed a lot over the weekend and he’s feeling a lot better. We’ll play it by ear: if he gets up, it’ll be great for us. In terms of the impact on Charlie, it won’t affect that decision.
On the reaction from last week:
We drew it back to who we want to be and our identity as a football club. We were really disappointed. There was a frustration at half time: we were two points up, but there was a frustration amongst the group. There needs to be an understanding that games are going to be arm wrestles. We thought North Melbourne was playing well, but after half time the standard wasn’t to the level we expect of each other.
We didn’t live up to our trademark and values. The players and the coaches got together, had some honest conversations and we owned it: we all agreed that it wasn’t to the level that we’ve put up in the past, but more importantly, the level we expect to put up and what we demand of each other.
On dealing with the outside noise:
I try not to buy into it too much. I was frustrated after this weekend’s game, absolutely. I was shattered.
That’s not who we want to be, but it was who we were. It’s not what we’re aiming to be. I have a lot of belief in where we’re going. Are we getting there as quick as we’d like? I don’t think any club would say they’re getting there as quick as they’d like. It’s a work in progress. From a cultural point of view, we’ve had to work really hard in some areas to make some shifts and I think that’s happening. Going forward, I think we’ll see that, and that’s what gives me great confidence.
On Patrick Cripps’ form and fitness:
He missed the week before against Collingwood with soreness, but he felt pretty good throughout the week. He looked good on the training track. One of the things with ‘Crippa’ is he’s been a strong inside midfielder who hunts the footy, and that’s when he’s at his best. We asked him to play full forward because we just didn’t have the height, and to his credit and he ended up hitting the scoreboard with three goals. It wasn’t his natural role and he did that for the team, as did Matthew Kennedy. It’s the reality of where we’re at at the moment: we needed a couple of guys to play tall.
On Mitch McGovern’s eligibility:
It’s going to be up for debate. Ideally, it would be at VFL level: we play our best footy with our tall targets, when they give us an option and get the ball to ground to let our smalls get to work. We’ll have a look at match committee after training, his name is getting mentioned as a possibility purely because of the situation we’re in.