Carlton’s coach Brett Ratten at quarter-time at the MCG on Friday.CARLTON premiership star Mark Maclure believes Brett Ratten’s coaching future rests on whether he can salvage something from the Blues’ horror season over the next two months.
A board source indicated yesterday that Ratten’s position would not be discussed before the end of the season, but the coach is under mounting pressure, with Carlton in grave danger of missing the finals after losing six of its past seven games.
”What happened on Friday night is finished,” Maclure said yesterday.
”He will be judged on what he does next. It will be interesting times in the next eight weeks. They have had a torrid run losing six of the last seven, it’s a horror stretch, but I don’t know if [getting rid of the coach] is the answer, it’s about what he does now.
”The players have to get up and fight, too. They are embarrassing, too, it’s not just Ratten.”
There is little respite in sight as the Blues sweat on the fitness of their best defender, Michael Jamison.
Carlton may have to confront Collingwood and its power forward Travis Cloke on Friday night without key defenders Jamison and Lachie Henderson. Jamison endured a torrid game against Hawthorn on Friday night, when he was beaten by Lance Franklin and finished the game with his right shoulder in a sling. A Carlton spokeswoman said Jamison would have scans in the next few days.
Henderson, who missed the game with a groin problem, faces three weeks on the sidelines.
Ratten was recontracted last year until the end of 2013 and chief executive Greg Swann declined to discuss the issue yesterday.
The Blues are outside the top eight with nine games to play.
Speaking before the 50-point loss to Hawthorn, president Stephen Kernahan dismissed speculation linking premiership coaches Mick Malthouse and Paul Roos with the Blues. He promised to support Ratten and denied the coach had fallen out with high performance manager Justin Cordy.
”Are we rigorously trying to find why we have had so many injuries this year?” Kernahan said on 3AW. ”Justin Cordy and Brett Ratten have been working hand in glove for four years. If it’s called a stoush, it’s not right, it’s not correct.
”We’re a strong club … strength in unity, from our board to our coaching staff, the supporters and members, and we have to stick fat during this period.
”I’m not giving the season away … I’ve spoken to ‘Ratts’ a lot about it. He’s coaching our football club, he’s contracted, and we’ll give him all the support he can have.”
Ratten saw a few positive signs in the 50-point loss to the Hawks, and said the Blues’ spirit was unbroken. ”Until you get the calculator out and it says you can’t [make finals], we will not be stopping in our pursuit to do that,” he said.
”It’s about winning games of football and that’s what we’re here to do. We’ll keep pushing on, whether we can make finals, can’t make finals.”
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