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Ben Collins  April 27, 2013 10:53 PM

Post-match: Blues Watch Carlton coach Mick Malthouse's post-match press conference
If that had've been my first 15 months, there's no way known I'd be here
MICK Malthouse will be hellbent on posting a hat-trick of wins when his Blues take on Melbourne next week, but he has thrown his support behind embattled Demons coach Mark Neeld.

Neeld was an assistant under Malthouse at Collingwood for four seasons before securing the Melbourne job, including being senior assistant in Malthouse's last two, and most successful, seasons with the Magpies.

The master and protégé will coach against each other for the first time when their teams meet at the MCG next Sunday.

The Blues will be raging favourites to record a percentage-boosting victory, given Melbourne has won just one game, and that was in a come-from-behind win over Greater Western Sydney at the MCG last week.

After Carlton defeated Adelaide at the same venue on Saturday night and attention swung to the Melbourne clash, Malthouse revealed he had spoken to Neeld "a couple of times" during the Demons' disastrous start to the season.

He added that his wife Nanette had also offered support to Neeld's wife Sarah.

"The day he walked into the job, when you think (of) what took place at Melbourne, I think it’s a credit that he has stood up and remained sane for a start off," Malthouse said.

"I don’t think any coach has been through what he's been through in the space of 15 months.

"Put it this way, if that had've been my first 15 months, there's no way known I'd be here, because that is so difficult …

"Welcome to AFL football, I suppose, under those circumstances (it is) very difficult.

"But I think he's done a pretty good job, given where Melbourne were, what's happened, (and) a lot of it's out of his control.

"But (if) you get through this, you get through a lot of things."