Carlton are set to resist sending Lachie Henderson or Jarrad Waite back to shore up an undersized defence when they seek their second win of the AFL season against West Coast on Saturday.
The Eagles have brought in talls Scott Lycett, Jeremy McGovern and Will Schofield to complement a side already containing big men in Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling, Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox for the clash at Etihad Stadium.
Carlton regained regular fullback Michael Jamison from injury for the pivotal encounter and Blues director of coaching Rob Wiley expects Henderson and Waite to remain inside the attacking 50, where they kicked five and three goals respectively in the breakthrough win against the Western Bulldogs last week.
“If they keep kicking goals we certainly can (keep both forward),” Wiley said on Friday.
“Every game unfolds differently and West Coast are a completely different side.
“They have brought in three talls, but we believe that if we play the football that we’ve shown throughout the year, and particularly last week, over four quarters and we can get football into Henderson and Waite then they’re very dangerous.
“We’ve also got to back ourselves.”
With Sam Rowe the only other regular tall defender in the Blues’ side, the Eagles will be hoping to expose their opponents overhead, but they’ve struggled to post a winning score themselves in recent weeks, managing a total of just 11 goals across losses to Geelong and Port Adelaide.
“Maybe it hasn’t gone as well as they wanted in the last two weeks, but defensively they’re a very good side and we know that we have to certainly work hard to kick a winning score ourselves,” Wiley said.
“They’ll want to rebound and they’ve got some dangerous forwards.”
In addition to Jamison, Carlton also recalled Brock McLean and Jeff Garlett from stints in the VFL, with Mitch Robinson recovering from a knee injury.
Wiley was confident that Garlett had learned some valuable lessons after his five-disposal effort in the round-three loss to Essendon had him sent for a spell back in the VFL.
“Jeff is an important player for our side, he offers something different, and it was pleasing to see in the second half last week he really get back to the form that he showed last year,” he said.
“He knows that he has to work hard. He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, but he’s got to come in and play (the role) that’s expected of him.”