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'No one held back': Cripps reveals reasons for players-only meeting

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CARLTON co-captain Patrick Cripps called for a players-only meeting on Tuesday in the wake of last Sunday's disastrous thumping at the hands of Greater Western Sydney.

After a competitive start to the season, the Blues were poor in round seven as they lost to fellow cellar-dwellers North Melbourne, and after going with flag contender Collingwood for much of the contest the following week, were meek as the Giants trampled over them by 93 points. 

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For Cripps, who was held to 12 disposals against GWS by tagger Matt de Boer but had previously been among the dominant players in the competition, it was time for his teammates to be brutally honest with each other.

"As leaders, we just felt like it was the right time to really get the whole group in and really have some home truths. We've basically just opened the floor for everyone on the whole list to give feedback on each other," Cripps told Melbourne radio station 3AW. 

"No one held back and it was a really good meeting." 

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The 24-year-old explained why the coaches, including Brendon Bolton, were left out. 

"When you are a young player, some players can get a bit gun-shy around the coach or a big group. That's just the nature of the industry," Cripps said.

"We thought it was the right time just to get the players in and really drive the standards." 

They didn't hold back. 

"The best thing about days like today is you hit it front-on. You have some really hard conversations," Cripps said. 

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Cripps is willing to pass on what was said to Bolton.

"There's some things you would tell the coach if he feels like he wants to know," Cripps said. 

 

There is plenty of youth littered through Carlton's team and Cripps wants them to understand what they need to do to perform consistently. 

"That's the conversation we had today. I think the most important thing is, I always reflect back on my second year and when you have a break-out performance, that's when you really start thinking 'Jeez, I'm good enough at this caper'. Then you've got to unpack why you played well," Cripps said.

"'A lot has to do with your mental prep, what did you do throughout the week? 

"Everyone thinks you just rock up on game day and you play but your preparation to become a good player really starts at the start of the week."

Further to that, the Bronwlow Medal fancy said what happened beyond the footy field was also scrutinised. 

"There was a lot of feedback given to players on what they're doing well and what they need to work on," Cripps said. 

"That's not just footy, it's just how they approach their footy, how disciplined they are, all sorts of things." 

The Blues have a chance at redemption when they face St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon.