UNDER-SIEGE Carlton coach David Teague insists he is still the right man to lead the club going forward, despite a shock loss to Gold Coast that has taken the club out of finals contention.
After a win over finals contender St Kilda last week, the Blues remained a slim chance to secure a spot in September but failed to overcome an out-of-form Suns' outfit coming off a 98-point loss.
The defeat all but ended Carlton's finals hopes and places further pressure on Teague's position as coach, especially with an external review of the club's football department nearing completion.
But speaking post-game, Teague remained steadfast when asked if he still believed he was the best man for the job.
"Absolutely. I'm really confident in myself, in the team we've got here and the direction we're going," Teague said.
But Teague admitted the external noise around the club’s fortunes and the pressure of performing with finals on the line may have got to his side.
He conceded his players may have been thinking too much about the outcome rather than the process, which made it difficult for them to execute in the moment.
"Probably a week ago the players may have thought that finals was out of contention and now it was on their mind and maybe they've been thinking about it too much," he said.
"I found probably in the past, our ability to go and execute with that expectation there is something we need to improve on. We need to just get really present and just go out there and be our absolute best."
The Blues were beaten by the Suns in most key stats including disposals (-63), clearances (-12) and contested possessions (-10).
Teague said it looked like his players lacked energy, especially compared with their win against the Saints last week.
"I thought our energy just looked a little bit off. Last week we looked to be on top of the ground, getting across, outnumbering, getting to contests," he said.
"I thought today we were slipping over, and to Gold Coast's credit we knew they’d come out fired up, but our ability to execute as the game went on probably dropped away.
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"It’s frustrating. Last week we did it, this week we didn't. That's where we're at and that's why we're not going to be in the finals because we're not consistent enough with those habits."
Meanwhile, Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew was full of praise for his side's ability to bounce back from a horror loss to Melbourne the week prior.
He said it was a great effort to perform so well given the club has been forced to relocate to Melbourne amid the ongoing COVID crisis.
"It's fantastic. Full credit goes not only to the players today but also our whole staff that are here and the players back on the Gold Coast … I think it shows we're a footy club that has a fair bit of heart," Dew said.
"I think it was an 117-point turnaround [from last week]. We knew last week wasn't fatal for us. We knew if we could reload again this week that we're a chance to win.
"For a young team to show that resilience and spunk to keep going I think that’s the best thing."
The only sour note for the Suns was an injury to Brandon Ellis, who hurt his hamstring in the second term and was subbed off.
Ellis was just returning from a hamstring injury suffered against the Bulldogs in round 18, and Dew said it was likely season over for the former Tiger.
"He's trained fully for two weeks, so it's disappointing for him, disappointing for us," he said.
"It's another hamstring, I'm not sure if it's the same one [as last time] as of yet … but clearly that would appear that'll be the season unfortunately for Brandon.”