CARLTON coach Mick Malthouse will work on bolstering the side's midfield brigade over the off-season in a bid to win a greater share of the footy.

And Collingwood's restricted free agent Dale Thomas is in the Blues' sights as a potential part of the solution. 

The Blues' season ended on Saturday night after the Sydney Swans overcame injuries to Kurt Tippett and Tom Mitchell to win their semi-final 13.8 (86) to 8.14 (62) at ANZ Stadium.

Malthouse pointed the discrepancy in disposals - the Swans had 442 posessions to Carlton's 345 - as a problem that had plagued the Blues throughout 2013 and something that would need addressing in the off-season.

Asked if the Blues would target his former charge Thomas, Malthouse said the club would look at all potential free agent opportunities.

"Dale is a good age player, he has many years left in him," Malthouse said after the match.

"I know the way he plays, I love the way he plays but that doesn't mean he is over the line, that doesn't mean he is anywhere near over the line.

"He is a Collingwood player as we speak. He has got to make a decision."

In 2013, the Blues averaged 339 disposals a game, the ninth-best in the league.

Malthouse said the club's lack of run in 2013 as "extraordinary".

"We just haven't got the numbers to go through the middle," he said.

"There's no one in the reserves that hasn't been tried.

"We've been able to win games by having less possessions than our opposition on numerous occasions."

However, he said the opportunities to boost the Blues' running brigade could be hard to come by in the trade period.

"You can't click your fingers and all of a sudden you have got five midfielders."

"It doesn't happen like that."

"If we get 17-year-olds or 18-year-olds it is going to take time."

Chris Judd said the Blues' midfield and forward lines had to match their defence's improvement if the club was to close the gap on the top four. 

"We've still got a lot of work to do before we can match it with those serious top four sides," he said. 

"It's not just one thing, it is a whole lot of things.

"It's not a hopeless case, there has been some positives out of the season.

"I think our backline has really stiffened up as a group and taken that line close to being at an exceptional level.

"Probably the other lines need to really step up and grow and hopefully we can bridge that gap between us and the better sides."

Judd said the players had become more accustomed to Malthouse's game plan as the season wore on, as evidenced by their strong results in the past month.

On injury news, Michael Jamison was stretchered off the ground in the last quarter after hurting his neck, while Jeff Garlett ended the game with an injured leg and Ed Curnow was substituted off in the second term with a knee problem.