Lochie O'Brien looks dejected after the R12 match between Carlton and Melbourne at the MCG on June 2, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

CARLTON still has 11 games to turn its season around but coach Michael Voss says his side isn't up to playing finals at the moment.

The Blues were expected to make the long-awaited jump into September for the first time since 2013, but have four wins and a draw from their 12 games to date after going down to Melbourne by 17 points on Friday night - a run that includes seven losses from the past eight games.

"Well, [this year's finals window] is fast closing. Here's the brutal facts, we're not good enough at the moment, that’s the brutal facts," Voss said.

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"We have to accept the parts where we're not (good enough). We've played some really good opposition, and that's the feedback we've got.

"Parts of that we have to accept first before we can then move forward. I think we've done that and we're well and truly into the process of getting after what we need to do, just all of it hasn't transferred yet. 

"Every week I've walked in here and thought it's going to transfer. It hasn't quite gone to plan, but every week we've been in the fight, and we've been pretty close on the scoreboard, but we're three or four goals shy. And it turned out like that again tonight."


Harry McKay had been under enormous scrutiny all week for his goalkicking technique, but shrugged some of that criticism off to kick 3.2.

"Probably like a few of us at the moment, we're working through a pretty tough situation, and at the back end of it, you find out a lot more about yourself. I think what 'H' – everyone has been having a view on his goalkicking technique and what he should do and shouldn't do," Voss said.

"He's been able to process that, put it in its place, go to work on it and for him to be able to come out today and work through all those things, I'm sure he'll find out at the back end of it that he'll be a better player because of it. 


"Today it felt like he made a number of breakthroughs in that area."

Voss didn't have any further updates on Jack Silvagni after the forward was subbed off with a hip issue.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin wasn't fazed by the look of the game, praising his team's defensive effort in holding Carlton to just 39 inside 50s.

"I guess that's what a lot of people will talk about, that it wasn't pretty and there were some inefficiencies, and we understand that," Goodwin said.


"But from our perspective, it was a fairly dominant performance. We had 40 front-half turnovers, defended incredibly well all night, and that was what Carlton games have been like for the past month, they've been pretty low-scoring. 

"I was really proud of our boys, they didn't waver one bit in their mindset and mentality. You could feel that all night. They bought into the right things. Yep, we've still got work to do, and I'm sure it'll be a talking point, but internally, we're really rapt with the performance."

The Demons won the clearance count by nine despite the absence of the hamstrung Clayton Oliver, with Christian Petracca and Jack Viney doing much of the damage against Carlton stars Paddy Cripps and Sam Walsh.

"[Petracca] is having an outstanding season, there's no question about that, he's in some really good form. But I was just rapt with the whole midfield group. We got our stoppage game going, and they shared the load," Goodwin said.


"I think Viney had seven clearances, and without Clayton there, he's a pretty big stoppage and clearance player for us. Once you get that type of dominance against their midfield, with the boys we had, was fantastic.

"[Oliver is] giving himself more than a chance, he was giving himself a chance for this week. He's circled it. He's got 10 days to get himself right, he'll be playing."

Goodwin confirmed Jake Bowey would miss next week with concussion but that Michael Hibberd would return to face Collingwood in the King's Birthday clash after being managed.