TOUK Miller has had enough of Gold Coast earning plaudits as an "almost" team.
Last weekend's effort against Adelaide is exactly the type of game the Suns need to start winning in the midfielder's opinion if they are fair dinkum about progressing into a top-eight contender.
Despite losing co-captain and ruckman Jarrod Witts to a season-ending knee injury in the third term last Friday, the Suns led early in the final quarter but ended up losing by 10 points to the Taylor Walker-inspired Crows.
Miller, in his seventh season with the Suns, says those kind of results are no longer acceptable for a club still chasing its first finals appearance.
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"You have those almost games, you're not going to make the top eight," Miller said.
"We don't want to be an almost club ... you look at the games that we missed last year by like, between two shots on goal, we win those we're probably actually in the eight.
"Now we start to really narrow our focus on those types of games where if we've got a chance to win, we have to put the nail in the coffin.
"The Adelaide game on the weekend we had 23 inside 50s in the last quarter, didn't convert anywhere near as many opportunities as we needed to and, yeah, we lost the game.
"That's completely on us. Gave ourselves a chance but it was an almost, don't want to be an almost team."
Youngster Caleb Graham is likely to be thrust into the middle against the Blues with Chris Burgess as his back-up.
Neither option is ideal and the Blues will be hoping Marc Pittonet can dominate and get quick ball to Harry McKay, who kicked seven goals in a big win over Fremantle last weekend.
Miller says Carlton are a team on the rise like the Suns.
"Carlton's a team that we've probably been on the same trajectory with for the last six or seven years," he said.
"We're (both) getting to that tipping point where we can start going into games and we know that we can win every game.
"For us, games like this the challenge is going to be who's going to break first and hopefully we're on the winning side and we should be."