GEELONG coach Chris Scott admits the Cats need to address their inconsistency and lapses in games after their slow start proved costly against Carlton.
The Cats fell 42 points down in the third term after their poor opening quarter but made a late dash to chase down the Blues, booting five goals in the final term.
Scott, who said he gave his longest ever post-game meeting with the players after the loss to work out their issues, conceded his side has things it needs to fix with performing week-in week-out.
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"There was a lot of people talking in the room and there's no clear answers I don't think, except that we do have a problem," Scott said post-game.
"That's clear. It's been clear for a long time."
The Cats had their chances late in the clash to overrun the Blues at GMHBA Stadium, but some wayward shots in the final moments saw them miss their chance as Carlton held on to its first win at the venue in more than 20 years.
The coach said even if the Cats had gotten over the line it wouldn't have masked their troubles, which were also evident in last year's finals series.
"It's not saying that the first quarter we didn't care, but [the attack] wasn't at that ultra-high level you need to be at to beat good teams in the AFL competition," he said.
Scott said he had no issue with Hawthorn counterpart Alastair Clarkson's comments on Thursday night that the Cats aren't "that good" after the 61-point loss to Geelong in round two.
The four-time Hawks premiership coach criticised his team's performance against the Cats but suggested the gap between the sides wasn't as big as that result.
"I know what he was saying. He was being critical of his team. He's a smart guy. It was an inventive way of talking about how bad he thought his team was last week and how much they turned it around. It's kind of the competition we're in, I didn't take offence to it at all," Scott said.
"You can take things out of context if you like.
"You can click on the headline that says 'Clarkson says Geelong 'aren't that good' and you can believe after tonight he's right. Or you can take a little bit more of a nuanced view and understand where he was coming from."
The Blues' shock performance gave David Teague his first win of 2020, with their fast start setting up the two-point stunner despite conceding five final-quarter goals.
Teague said his side didn't run out of legs in the last quarter but didn't make the right adjustments to their game style to continue to control the Cats.
"We had the run. Physically we were OK, I think it was just more of a mindset," he said.
"We wanted to keep going at them, that was the key message, but you could see we probably went a bit safer down the line than we had earlier in the game and then Geelong also stepped it and started going a little bit quicker and put us under a bit more pressure."
He praised the impact of veteran Eddie Betts, who played his best game back in Blues colours with two goals, seven score involvements and a brilliant tackle late in the game that sealed the win.
"That tackle at the end was outstanding and that's what he can do," Teague said.