THE PROSPECT of breaking a lengthy finals drought will not be an added motivator for Carlton throughout its final three games of the season, as the club aims to keep any slim chances of progressing this year alive against Sydney on Tuesday night.
Carlton has blown two match-winning positions over its last two games to see its finals chances go up in smoke, throwing away second-half leads against Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney over the last nine days.
LADDER PREDICTOR Can your team make the eight?
However, victory over the Swans at Metricon Stadium could put the Blues back within a game of the eighth-placed Giants with a clash against the hapless Crows still to come in their campaign.
But according to coach David Teague, the playing group is not yet doing the mathematical sums in an effort to determine exactly what it will take to help Carlton back to the finals for the first time since 2013.
"That takes care of itself," Teague said.
"It's not something we've focused on at all, to be honest. We've focused on getting better and improving. We felt that the results would take care of themselves.
"At the moment, it's looking unlikely. But we expect to go out and get better again this weekend. If we do that, and things go our way, then that will take care of itself. But right now, we're focused on what we can control and how we play."
Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps dealt with a corkie in the lead-up to last Thursday night's defeat to GWS, and now faces the prospect of a third game in nine days against Sydney on Tuesday night.
EXCLUSIVE ACCESS How to recover in 97 hours
However, with Michael Gibbons still unlikely to return from injury and Lachie Plowman facing a fitness test on Monday, the Blues believe Cripps will take his place in the side and won't need a rest before season's end.
"We'll have those conversations with all of our players," Teague said.
"If a player says that they need (a rest), then we'll back them in. Sometimes we might make that call, but with a player like Cripps and with our leadership group … you back them in. If they say they're right to go, then you generally back them in.
"I think Cripps will have more energy and will be moving better this week than last week. He still played an important role for us last week.
"I understand that we look at the numbers he produced last year compared to this year and people can get caught on that, but from an overall point of view our team has performed better this year. We've been in every game and he's played an important part in that."