A sad Chris Judd has called on Carlton fans to stick by the AFL club and interim boss John Barker as they begin the Blues’ rebuilding effort.
Carlton sacked Mick Malthouse on Tuesday after recording just one win in eight games to start the season, while battling the club’s hierarchy through the media.
Malthouse’s tenure came to an end shortly after he gave an explosive radio interview on Tuesday morning where he attacked president Mark LoGiudice’s approach to assessing his position.
Judd said he was left feeling upset by Malthouse’s axing.
“The main emotion is one of sadness for Mick because he’s a wonderful coach who has really been put through the ringer,” he said.
“He’s been under an immense amount of scrutiny but the way he’s handled that throughout this whole process has been really impressive.
“It’s a very uncomfortable thing to go through.
“Our thoughts are mainly with Mick and what he’s gone through.”
Judd wouldn’t be drawn on the manner of Malthouse’s departure from Carlton, saying AFL fans should celebrate his storied career, not commiserate its end.
“There’s not a heap of point going into that sort of stuff,” he said.
“The time now is to celebrate what a wonderful coaching career Mick’s had and for all Carlton people to stick fat and stay united.”
An emotional-looking Dale Thomas left the club shortly after Judd, followed by Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs, choosing not to speak to media.
Judd said the players would unite behind interim coach Barker and attempt to fight their way up the AFL ladder.
“When you’re one and seven there’s enormous challenges facing your footy club,” he said.
“I’m really confident in this playing group sticking together … working hard, getting behind John Barker and pushing for growth.”