CARLTON coach David Teague has conceded Saturday's dispiriting and brutal loss at the hands of Port Adelaide "doesn't help" his situation, as the club continues to weigh up whether he will remain at the helm in 2022.
Having shot into a 23-point lead midway through the second quarter, the Blues remarkably conceded 19 consecutive goals to finish a one-sided contest in what proved to be a devastating 95-point defeat at the Adelaide Oval.
POWER v BLUES Full match coverage and stats
The overwhelming nature of the result came at the end of another bruising week for the club, with Carlton's board meeting last Thursday to finally discuss the findings of an external review into its football department.
Speaking afterwards, Teague was adamant he was "absolutely" the man to take the Blues forward and said he doesn't expect to be informed about the club's direction until after next week's round 23 clash with Greater Western Sydney.
However, the third-year coach acknowledged that a performance like the one his team produced on Saturday – where it was unable to kick another goal after the 14-minute mark of the second quarter – won't be analysed favourably.
"Look, it doesn't help … I understand that," Teague said.
"(But) in terms of the pattern of behaviour, that's our first really big loss. The timing is not great, but in terms of where we've been and the way the guys approached it at the start … I thought we cracked in and used it well early.
"It may not help, but I think it's one game. Over the year we've been pretty competitive, but we've got some growth. That's where we're at.
"It's disappointing. We're shattered. The thing that hurts most is you never want to lose like that when you wear the Carlton jumper, but when it's Marc Murphy's 300th … to do that for his 300th game, it hurts more.
"I know the guys are trying, but for whatever reason once they got a bit of a run-on we went into our shells and we weren't as aggressive."
Carlton conceded both its biggest score under Teague (140 points) and copped its most significant margin of defeat (95 points), with the Blues coach admitting it was his worst loss in charge of the club.
Compounding matters, the performance came in club champion and former captain Marc Murphy's 300th and final game in Carlton colours.
"It does (feel like our worst loss)," Teague said.
"It's probably the margin. There are some other games that have frustrated me more than this game. We just had to kick our goals and it might have changed the momentum a little bit. Some of those misses took the energy out of us.
"The end result, yes it does (feel like the worst one). But there were some positives early, particularly with getting games into two debutants (Brodie Kemp and Corey Durdin), plus Josh Honey played his fifth game. There were still some positives in that sense.
"Unfortunately, we just didn't have enough players able to play at the standard for 120 minutes."
Port Adelaide, having trailed by 23 points midway through the second quarter, kicked six unanswered goals to end the half and wrestled back complete control of the contest by the final change.
The Power then put their foot down in the last quarter, kicking nine unanswered goals to make it 19 straight to finish the match, though coach Ken Hinkley said percentage wasn't on his mind ahead of the finals.
"Not one bit," Hinkley said.
"It wasn't something we spoke about at all. We just talked about being reliable and playing the same way the whole way.
"Whether it's top-two, top-one … at the end of round 23, I'll look at the ladder and decide how we've gone through the year and recognise what the next challenge looks like.
"Let's not worry about it until we get to the end of round 23, because so many things change so quickly in this game."
The only concern for Port Adelaide was a knee injury to ruckman Scott Lycett. Having appeared to injure himself in the second term, he played on until three-quarter time before eventually being replaced by medical substitute Sam Mayes.
"He was a bit sore and we were very mindful of that," Hinkley said.
"At three-quarter time, we had that conversation. He said it wasn't perfect, but that it would be best if he didn't have to (play on). We took that out of his hands, to be fair to him.
"It wasn't worth the risk and we didn't want to make him any sorer. We need to see how he pulls up tomorrow before we make any decisions around next week. When you're in that position, we didn't abuse the sub rule because he was certainly sore enough.
"It was just the right thing to do at that time for us."