Carlton coach David Teague says the Blues will need to deliver a four-quarter performance if they’re to get off the mark in Saturday’s AFL clash against Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.
Back in March, the Blues showed some promise against reigning premiers Richmond but were made to rue a slow start.
“I expect our guys to go out there and compete and we need to compete for longer and that’s our challenge,” Teague said.
“We’ve shown we can do it for periods, but we need to have that mindset that we’re there to compete for longer and to get our job done for longer.
“So I’m excited by the way they’ve trained and prepared.
“We’ve given ourselves a chance now we’ve got to go out and do it, we’ve actually got to get the job done.”
Blues co-captain Patrick Cripps is arguably the best contested-ball winner in the game but the Demons – led by Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney – pride themselves on their inside grunt work.
“They’re very good in that area and obviously it’s not only in their midfield, they win contests around the ground as well,” Teague said.
“So we need to match them and it’s probably an area we’ve focused on over this period is being strong in the contest.
“It’s important in every game but particularly against Melbourne who are quite strong in that area as well.”
Eddie Betts will make his long-awaited return in Blues colours, while former Hawk Marc Pittonet will face a baptism of fire against All-Australian Max Gawn.
Jack Silvagni had been named in Carlton’s team but was ruled out on Friday due to gastro, with a replacement to be named later that evening.
The Blues will welcome back Harry McKay after the forward missed the season opener with a groin injury.
Paddy Dow had been listed as omitted but Teague said the midfielder was actually sidelined with a knee injury, while Zac Fisher (ankle) is still at least a week away.
Melbourne made seven changes to their round one team that lost to West Coast, including handing debuts to Harley Bennell, Luke Jackson and Trent Rivers.
Players from both sides who weren’t selected for round two will play a scratch match at Ikon Park on Saturday morning.