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Blues' lack of response to Mummy hit addressed in players-only meeting

Star Blue put down by Mummy Marc Murphy leaves the field in pain after some heavy contact from Shane Mumford

A TELLING lack of response to Shane Mumford's heavy hit on former captain Marc Murphy was one of the main talking points from Carlton's players-only meeting this week.

The Blues had just conceded seven unanswered goals to the Giants when Mumford collected Murphy, who was attempting to win the ball, leaving him with two fractured ribs.

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Murphy was forced to spend Sunday night in hospital due to the heavy hit, with scans later revealing that the experienced midfielder will miss several weeks due to the injury.

Despite the nature of the blow, Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps was the only Blues player to remonstrate with Mumford in the aftermath of the incident.

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Speaking on Friday, Carlton coach Brendon Bolton revealed that the team's response to the injury suffered by its former skipper was a significant incident that was addressed during a meeting led by co-captains Cripps and Sam Docherty earlier this week.

"I think it was, particularly from 'Crippa' … he responded the right way," Bolton said.

"Listen, 'Mummy' plays a physical brand and we've respected him for a long time. But I think it's important to fly the flag when someone gets hurt."

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Carlton is 1-8 to start the season, having suffered a horror 93-point loss to Greater Western Sydney last week in a match where the team conceded 38 scoring shots to just 10.

Cripps had earlier revealed that "no one held back" in the players-only meeting and that a few "home truths" were spoken in order to turn the side's dismal run around.

However, Bolton objected to the claim that the coaching group was ushered out of the meeting, saying he encourages the players to give each other feedback.

"I'm not sure we were kicked out," Bolton said.

"We were in a leadership meeting prior to that and there was always going to be the opportunity for players … to go in there and have some really strong conversations.
"In elite environments, I know that sounds extreme, but that's career ownership. Players take control. The more people do that from a playing level, you build more leadership.

"(But) it wasn't that we were kicked out. It was more that they created an opportunity to have some strong conversations with each other. I'm proud of the way they went about it."

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Bolton and Carlton's football boss Brad Lloyd have been undergoing quarterly meetings with the playing group, last undertaken in round six, regarding the club's run of form.

While the Blues players didn't necessarily provide Bolton with feedback on his coaching after this week's meeting, they have in the past – and will continue to do so in the future.

"We have a review with players," Bolton said.

"In that, we always open up with 'what's the coach doing well and what can he improve on?'

"I get ongoing feedback all the time, in and around what the players lens is. You often act on some of that, or continue to do some of the things you're doing well. But also, as a coach, you've got to understand the lens but not always act on some of that feedback.

"But at least listening to it, you understand what they're feeling and thinking.

"We do it formally every six weeks, but it's ongoing. We go to a leadership meeting … and we go around the leaders about what they're doing well and what they can improve on.

"Me, as a leader, I'm part of that. It never gets missed. Irrespective of where we are this year, it's been ongoing. It's part of what high-performing clubs do."