Main content

'There's not a lack of belief', says pragmatic Bolton

'There's a win around the corner' Brendon Bolton shares his frustration after his side's heart-breaking loss to the Suns, but is adamant that their efforts will pay off soon enough

FOUR weeks, four losses and last on the ladder – it's a grim sight for Carlton and its supporters.

And although coach Brendon Bolton said his team had not lost belief following Sunday's heartbreaking two-point loss to Gold Coast, it's hard to believe they couldn't.

SUNS BREAK BLUES HEARTS Full match coverage and stats

The Blues led for more than three quarters of the match. 

As Bolton rightly pointed out they won the "effort" areas, contested possessions (146-140) and tackles (79-74). 

But horrible ball use forward of centre kept the door ajar for Gold Coast, and Jack Bowes slammed it shut with a left-foot snap to give his team victory in the final seconds.

 

Not only does it leave Carlton stone motherless last ahead of a round five match against the Western Bulldogs next Sunday, but it leaves the Blues with just three wins from their past 36 matches. 

And without a win since round 19 last season – against the Suns.

Bolton was pragmatic following the defeat.

"It leaves us frustrated and really determined and also hurting, probably the summary of the three main emotions right now," Bolton said post-match.

"There's not a lack of belief. 

"There's a lack of belief when you're miles away, there's enough signs to show we're in the right direction, but gees we're determined to get a result."

 

Bolton is right in saying there were some positive signs.

Sam Walsh was again fantastic in just his fourth game, showing poise many of his teammates lacked and courage to return after a clumsy, crunching hit by Jarrod Witts.

Patrick Cripps did Patrick Cripps things – 30 disposals (19 contested), eight marks, eight clearances, 12 tackles and a goal late in the fourth term to give his team the lead.

Liam Jones and Jacob Weitering were imperious in defence, leading a unit that stymied the Suns for much of the contest. 

But in the end it counted for little.

 

With just 17 shots at goal from 46 inside 50s, the connection between the midfield and forwards was not much short of horrible.

Whether it was repeated long bombs to 175cm Michael Gibbons or missing open targets running out of the centre square (Paddy Dow being one of the culprits), the execution left Bolton tearing his hair out. 

Particularly when a second quarter burst of three goals from Mitch McGovern showed how good the forward line could be if leads were honoured and passes hit.

 

"I think it's a word called composure, being able to assess what's in front," Bolton said.

"We've just got to keep training it, there's no big secret to it.

"There were periods of the game we were in control but I think our mid-forward connection needs a fair bit of work.

"We defeated ourselves on many plays today."

It's a phrase Blues fans probably don't want to hear, but a reality after blowing yet another winnable game.

WATCH Brendon Bolton's full post-match media conference

Bolton left this for his team's fans.

"To the supporters, we're hurting with you, we're frustrated with you.

"There's a win around the corner if we keep giving the effort we're giving but we need some polish in our play."

They get another chance in seven days.