‘Rebuild’ is a dirty word as far as Carlton coach Mick Malthouse is concerned.
The listless Blues are mired at the bottom of the ladder with one win going into round eight and Malthouse believes the decision to label the club’s playing list as one in need of a rebuild has been a significant factor in the team’s on-field woes.
“We are devoid of confidence,” Malthouse said on Thursday.
“Inadvertently, whether it be the club or the press (that) have said that we’re rebuilding, well that’s a big hurdle to overcome mentally when you’ve got players who’ve signed for four or five years.
“You bring players into the football club and they feel as if, ‘What did you bring me in here for if I’m not going to be considered (to be) in a side that’s going to go forward instead of rebuilding?’
“There’s a big mental burden that we’ve had to overcome.”
Carlton president Mark LoGiudice and chief executive Steven Trigg have both publicly described the struggling club as needing to embark on a lengthy rebuilding phase.
Malthouse wouldn’t be drawn on whether he believes he’s the right person to oversee an overhaul of the club’s playing stocks beyond this season, saying the topic of his future was irrelevant and had been “done to death”.
He maintained that his focus remains solely on restoring the shattered confidence of his players, whom he said had been uncompetitive for periods in matches.
“I don’t care who you are … there’s a little man in the back of your brain that says,’If this is a rebuild and I’ve put pen to paper for five years, four years … it’s very difficult then to disassociate yourself with what’s in front of you or what has been said,” he said.
“It’s a massive job by all our staff to get the confidence up and win games of footy. “We’re not unique … it’s simply that is the perception and players are not immune to seeing that, hearing that or feeling that and as a consequence you’ve got to restore confidence.
“The only way you restore confidence is a good victory.”