WITH hopes of playing in the finals all but over, stand-in Carlton captain Marc Murphy says the Blues are determined to regain the respect of their rivals in the next month.
They remain two games adrift of the top eight and would appear to have little chance of featuring in September, although mathematically this remains a slight possibility.
They would have to win their remaining four matches, against the Brisbane Lions, Essendon, Gold Coast and St Kilda, and hope other results fell their way.
This appears highly unlikely, with Murphy declaring regaining respect was now the focal point.
”We are still a chance mathematically to get there,” he said yesterday.
”We have got a few things which we want to work on over the next month of footy and try and get back a bit of the respect that we probably lost a little bit from last year from opposition sides.”
Coach Brett Ratten had guaranteed the Blues would finish in the top four this season, while they were premiership favourites after the round-three win over the Magpies. Injuries and poor form have cruelled their expectations.
”That’s a real big focus over the next month, trying to get that respect back and play some good footy,” Murphy told the Blues website.
That will have to be done without key defender Michael Jamison for at least one week after he strained a hamstring against the Swans on Sunday. ”Jammo has pulled up reasonably well. It’s a low-grade strain of the hamstring,” Blues football manager Andrew McKay said yesterday.
”We are hoping for one [out] but it may end up two. Scans show there is a very, very, very small amount of swelling in the area, so it’s not too bad.”
Andrew Walker and Mitch Robinson are likely to be recalled after recovering from calf injuries.
Ruckman Robbie Warnock is battling a shoulder injury and could miss another week.
”Robbie hurt his shoulder against Hawthorn just a little bit,” McKay said. ”Nothing structurally damaged or anything but it has just stiffened up. We are just waiting to loosen that shoulder a little bit so he can have a bit more function before we put him on the park.”
Defender Lachie Henderson has had surgery on his hip and thumb.
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