Charlie Curnow in action during the match between Carlton and Collingwood at the MCG in round eight, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON coach Michael Voss insists spearhead Charlie Curnow is delivering what the team needs as the Blues prepare to front Melbourne's stingy defence.

After Curnow was held to two goals by Collingwood, Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd said he was getting caught wrestling his opponent deep too much, and queried whether he showed enough fight when things weren't going his way.

"The strength is in our collective, that's what I think - and I think he buys into that extremely well," Voss said.


"The role we ask him to play, the teammate we want him to be - I’ve been nothing but impressed with how he's approached that.

"And he knows as well as anybody that our success is off the back of being able to get our forward line cohesion right and our connection right.

"He's got a role within that. He's got to be a competitor within that. But we are all searching for that extra level of consistency in what we do. And he'd be no different."


Curnow and Harry McKay will have to deal with a Melbourne defence led by Steven May, Jake Lever and Tom McDonald in Thursday night's blockbuster at the MCG.

The Demons (6-2) have conceded an average of just 66 points this season, while May and Lever in particular have been able to influence games with their intercept marking and drive from defence.

"That's the game that they provide for you, so you have to work your way through that and you have to be patient and also seek your opportunities when you need to," Voss said.

"Clearly, their defensive structures are very strong. They've shown that not just over the short term, they've shown that over a very long period of time.

"What I admire about Melbourne is their real discipline to be able to get their roles done.

"They know who they are, what they bring and they stay true to it.

"For us, we need to make sure we understand that and that's the environment we're walking into but we've got to bring a similar approach and take our opportunities when we get them."

Charlie Curnow contests the ball with Steven May and Christian Salem during the 2024 AFL Community Series match between Carlton and Melbourne at Ikon Park. Picture: Getty Images

Carlton (5-3) has suffered consecutive losses to Geelong and the Magpies but Voss wasn't discouraged, noting his charges just needed to "execute for longer".

Voss had been concerned about the Blues leaking goals but was confident they had gone some way to addressing that.

"We've been able to do that and we're moving the needle, it's just the needle's not as far as it needs to go," he said.


Mitch McGovern (hamstring), Zac Williams (calf), Caleb Marchbank (back) and Jack Martin (hamstring) all had to face fitness tests.

The Demons will regain talented young defender Jake Bowey from a collarbone injury.