IF CARLTON'S new-look midfield took some validation from its final-quarter pantsing of Richmond, the task now is to build on the platform laid.
The Blues are not getting carried away with the round one triumph - their first positive start to a season in a decade - which kicked off the new Michael Voss-led era in stunning fashion.
But they gained plenty of confidence from the way they dismantled their opponents last Thursday night, snapping an 11-match losing streak against the Tigers in the process.
Patrick Cripps and new recruits George Hewett and Adam Cerra, plus a much-improved Matthew Kennedy, led the Blues' dominance in the final term.
And they did so without last year's best and fairest winner Sam Walsh, who remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
MORE COVID DRAMA Blues reshuffle coaches, two more staffers in isolation
Next Carlton faces a vaunted Western Bulldogs line-up that was stung by Melbourne in the season-opener.
The Blues enter Thursday night's Marvel Stadium contest buoyed by recent performances, including a pre-season win over the Demons.
"We need to keep building on it," Hewett told AAP.
"It starts again every week but when you can look back on those things and say we've done it, hopefully that gives us confidence when we're in those tight spots again.
"(The Bulldogs are) a top midfield again but we'll just keep backing our strengths and then go from there."
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said the Carlton recruiting drive that netted Hewett and Cerra late last year reminded him of the way the Tigers rebuilt their own engine room ahead of the 2017 season, when they stormed to a surprise premiership.
The Blues have a long way to go before they even break their finals drought, let alone start talking about flag chances.
But Hewett, who joined Carlton on a four-year deal after 120 games with Sydney, believes the Blues' midfield group has already built synergy that holds them in good stead.
"None of us were injured in the pre-season so we literally spent three or four months together training flat out," the 26-year-old said.
"We were doing a lot of stuff after training with each other and it's come together really well.
"We're sharing the ball around, which is exciting to see.
"We're all great mates and it probably shows, the way we play. We enjoy looking after each other.
"They're all good fellas and it's been a really exciting time this last couple of months."