Sacked Carlton coach Mick Malthouse is bullish about the embattled AFL club, saying they are bottoming out and parts of their recovery are in place.
Malthouse said he would watch Friday night’s match against Sydney because the players are “my boys”.
Two days after the Blues sacked Malthouse and ended his 31-year coaching career, he was sharply critical of what had happened at the club and the circumstances of his dismissal.
In particular, he hit out at Carlton president Mark LoGiudice for Monday’s letter to members and comments earlier this season about captain Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs.
But Malthouse said he felt no animosity towards the club.
He spoke positively about new list manager Stephen Silvagni and chief executive Steven Trigg.
“This is a growth period now,” Malthouse said.
“I’ve been very impressed (with) Stephen Silvagni.
“Stephen will do a job of uniting everything up.
“I’ve said before, this is the bottom out and with both Stephens there (Silvagni and Trigg) and with Mark being so young as a captain … that’s a great start.
“If they can keep their kids with growth and bring in players, this is the start of their future.”
But Malthouse warned it would be a tough rebuild in the wake of the draft concessions given to the latest expansion clubs, Gold Coast and GWS.
Malthouse also denied he had deliberately tried to fast-track his sacking by giving a provocative radio interview on Tuesday morning.
It forced Carlton’s hand and they sacked him hours later.
Malthouse added he knew well before Carlton’s disastrous form this season that his position at the club was tenuous.
He said that when he took over as Carlton coach in late 2012, he wanted to make as many as 17 changes to the team list.
But Malthouse claimed because of salary cap and contract restrictions, he could only make three.
Malthouse said his overwhelming emotion at Tuesday’s sacking was disappointment.
“I have to say, that’s not the way I (wanted) it to end,” he said.
“You never prepare yourself to be told by a board or a president or a CEO, `no, we’re sacking you’.’
“I can’t remember the words, because I was a little bit numb.
“There was no shouting, there no nothing – once it’s done … I’m not going to get on my knees to beg.
“That’s their outcome, that’s the result, you take it, you stamp up in front of the pole and you cop what you’re going to cop.”