AFTER a loss that sent his club from top-four contender to sitting in seventh place on the ladder, Carlton coach Michael Voss said his side still has a lot of work to do to keep up with a "ruthlessly efficient" outfit like Geelong.
The Blues led early in the contest but were ground down by the more experienced Cats, eventually losing 12.13 (85) to 8.7 (55) at the MCG on Saturday night.
Voss said the loss was something he and his players could learn from, and that they had "got a really important reminder about what we need to look like moving forward".
BLUES v CATS Full match coverage and stats
"(Geelong) were methodical in the way they played, (I’d) describe it probably as ruthlessly efficient in the way they went about it," Voss said after the 30-point loss.
"We’d like to make some adjustments immediately, but the reality is some of it's going to take some time as well.
"We didn’t stick at it for long enough and maybe got a little bit discouraged throughout the game as well and sort of fell apart from some of the things we’ve been able to do.
"It can give you great clarity on what you still have to deal with and make stronger…. we've still got a bit of work to do.
"We've just got to get better."
Asked if Marc Pittonet was a chance to return next week, Voss didn’t sound hopeful.
"We'll assess it more on Monday or Tuesday,” he said of the ruckman, who last played in round six.
"(Mitch) McGovern came back as well and performed pretty well, but they’ve been out for a very long time, so we’ll still take a cautious approach if we need to."
Asked about the form that has seen his side win its last eight games, Geelong coach Chris Scott was keen to rein in expectations.
"One thing I know from experience is you should never get ahead of yourself at round 18," Scott said.
"The great Leigh Matthews said, 'the home and away season is about getting into a position to contend', which is the challenge for us at the moment."
He was, however, very pleased with the even contribution from his side in a game that had been hyped up around the clash of the League’s leading key forwards.
"I didn't think three players won us the game; our small forwards were really dangerous, key forwards were a threat ...(Carlton's) really good players around the ball didn't take the game away from us.
"The players were able to adjust to the game and execute what was required at the right time because it was a pretty high-pressure game."
One factor Scott thinks will work in his favour is the number of players who have missed large chunks of football this season through injury and player management.
"There’s a big group of players that we think, once the season’s run and won, they won’t be thinking in September that they’re worn down through too much footy and too much training."