CARLTON coach David Teague hasn't raised any issues with Patrick Cripps' treatment from opposition taggers, saying he will continue to work with the Blues co-captain to shrug the increased attention rather than focus on whether he deserves more free kicks.
The club confirmed earlier this week that it had raised Cripps' treatment with the AFL, after a number of incidents surfaced from last weekend's victory over the Kangaroos showing the superstar midfielder being manhandled and dragged to the ground at stoppages.
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However, Teague said on Thursday that he hadn't been part of those discussions with the League, saying he was instead putting more emphasis on how Cripps beats the tag in the future.
"Personally, I haven't (discussed it)," Teague said.
"I think the club have followed up, but I haven't heard the response.
"It's got a little bit of media attention this week, but this is quite common. We've seen it come up in the media before.
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"What we love is the way Patrick goes about it. He keeps attacking the ball, he keeps competing for us. Personally, as a coach, I'm trying to focus on what we can control and that's the way Patrick plays and his role for the team."
Cripps was held to just 16 disposals and a season-low two clearances against North Melbourne, having faced stiff opposition from Jed Anderson, Shaun Higgins and a number of other Kangaroos midfielders.
Teague said he understood why opposition players would target Cripps in such a heavy-handed manner, saying he doesn't think the blame should be focused on the umpires for missing any free kicks.
"I think every opponent puts a lot of time into the opposition's best players," Teague said.
"Patrick is that for us, so I understand it. To be honest, I don't get caught up too much into it. I speak to Patrick about his role. We talk about ways of trying to combat it, but in terms of the umpiring I feel they're doing their best. It's very hard to watch every contest."
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Carlton will welcome Harry McKay back to the side for Friday night's clash with Hawthorn, having missed last week's win over North Melbourne due to knee soreness, while zippy midfielder Zac Fisher is also a chance to return.
Fisher hasn't featured for the Blues since the season's restart, having battled a syndesmosis injury during the game's shutdown period, before being kept out of the team thanks to the form of Will Setterfield and Matthew Kennedy.
"It's just form and fitness (for Fisher)," Teague said.
"He's shown some good signs and he's thereabouts. We think he'll be part of our next premiership side going forward, so we want to get him up and going.
"But what we have said to the players is that they need to earn their spots. We saw Matthew Kennedy had to work really hard to get an opportunity, and he responded and is playing some really good football for us.
"We expect the same of Zac. When he gets an opportunity, whether it's this week or down the track, we expect him to come in with good form and ready to play his role for the side."