CARLTON skipper Patrick Cripps has leapt to the defence of under-fire coach David Teague, imploring everyone at the club to take learnings from an impending external review of its football department.
The Blues fell to their fifth loss in six matches on Saturday night, delivering another limp performance in a 36-point defeat to the Giants that almost certainly extinguishes any last hopes of an unlikely finals run.
The bitterly disappointing defeat came after a bye week in which Carlton confirmed it would undertake a forensic external review of its football department, which is set to put the spotlight on Teague and his coaching group.
The review, which is to be led by experienced AFL administrator Geoff Walsh, former Fremantle champion Matthew Pavlich and leadership consultant Graham Lowe, follows another failed campaign where the club's finals drought will surely extend to eight seasons.
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However, speaking on Monday, Cripps backed Teague's credentials as the club's senior coach and instead urged his fellow players to ensure they all take lessons from the upcoming review.
"I think it will involve everyone, us as leaders as well," Cripps said.
"I think we're all going to get feedback. When you're in places like this it's easy to point to one person, but footy clubs are a collective group. We're all taking responsibility for where we are at the moment.
"It's not just on 'Teaguey', it's on everyone. I want everyone to get feedback from this review and I think everyone will be open to knowing how we get better."
As co-captain of the club alongside Sam Docherty, Cripps said he is also open to providing the review panel with suggestions as to where Carlton can improve in the future – should he be called upon to do so.
"The review hasn't started yet, but we're always open to giving feedback," Cripps said.
"That's one thing about AFL clubs and sporting clubs, there's open and honest feedback every week. We review our game every week and there's honest feedback.
"That's what builds character and when people leave the game it's what holds them in good stead in future work environments. They're open to feedback, they can give and take feedback and they don't take it personally."
Carlton's midfield group was humbled around the ball against Greater Western Sydney, losing the disposal count by 39, the clearance count by eight, the marks by 49 and also the tackles by a staggering 38.
But despite pressure factor being a downfall of the Blues throughout the entirety of the season – the club ranks last in the competition for tackle differential this season – Cripps does not believe it's for a lack of trying.
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"Everyone is disappointed because everyone has tried 100 per cent every week to get a result," Cripps said.
"We understand it's a win-loss business, so we were flat. One thing we were flat about was the tackle count. (But) it's one of those things now where we flew back yesterday, we came in today, we'll review the game heavily and we'll move on.
"The most important thing is that we stick together as a group and have a clear focus on what's going to make us improve. I've seen teams turn it around quickly. I've been in this position before and I've seen how we can play good footy in the back-half of the year.
"One thing I'll say about this group is that we give effort every week. It was disappointing that the tackle count was like that, but at the same time we were winning the groundball stat as well.
"It wasn't for a lack of effort because we were still winning the ball, but pressure is definitely something we've got to keep improving on."
Despite speculation, Cripps is yet to agree on a new contract with Carlton beyond this season and remains one of the League's most high-profile restricted free agents ahead of this year's Trade Period.
However, the 26-year-old reiterated that the uncertainty surrounding the club and its dismal spell of form this season hasn't had any impact on whether he will ultimately commit his future to the Blues.
"That hasn't had an impact at all and it never has," Cripps said.
"We're just working through minor details. The club and I are on the same page with it.
"It's the same as it was the other day. We're still working through it. I've said it all along that I'm happy at the club."