CARLTON coach David Teague concedes big-name recruit Zac Williams needs to get fitter if the former Giant is to make an impact in the midfield.
Williams joined the Blues as a free agent on a lucrative six-year deal in the off-season with plans to play through the midfield, but has since been shifted back to half-back after struggling to have an impact on the ball.
He had just 11 touches against GWS and received scathing criticism from Brisbane great Jonathan Brown, who said on Fox Footy the Blue was "one of the laziest footballers going around".
Teague said the Blues had tried to build Williams' confidence by shifting him to defence but acknowledged his midfield running was an issue.
"We took him out of the midfield for a little bit of the ability to run but also ... he was probably low on confidence and we put him back to a position where he's played some really good football in the past (at half-back)," Teague said.
"It's a tough game and it requires a lot of you and he's had quite a few little niggles and an interrupted season.
"So we think that there's still a lot of upside there, we think he can get fitter and he'll become a good player for this football club in the long term."
Teague said Williams had "put his hand up" and knew he needed to improve, but was optimistic the 26-year-old could become a midfielder.
"We (recruited) him to be a midfielder and at the moment we're playing him at half-back because he's been able to add more value to the team there," he said.
"So we'll assess that going forward.
"Ideally he gets a really good preseason and moves back into the midfield going forward but he may not, he may stay at half-back."
Sunday's game against Adelaide is a crunch one for 14th-placed Carlton and potentially Teague, amid the club's external review.
Teague said he didn't "buy in" to external pressure and was confident he'd be at the helm come season's end.
"Do I feel I'm the guy to take the club forward? I do. I absolutely do," he said.
"We're not getting the results at the moment, I understand people talking about that.
"But as a collective as a club I think we've got great people in good positions and we'll come out of this. I have a lot of confidence in that."