Carlton coach Mick Malthouse is adamant their match committee alone will decide who plays in the AFL team.
Before Saturday’s 21-point loss to Essendon at the MCG, Blues president Mark LoGiudice and chief executive Steven Trigg did the media rounds to stress they are rebuilding on the field.
Immediately after the match, Malthouse reiterated his own comments from this week the team will be picked on merit.
Malthouse continues to make it clear that youngsters will not be picked just to give them experience.
“I will refuse to be drawn into who picks this side, other than our match committee,” he said.
“It will not be picked by media, it will not be picked by boards – it will be picked by the match committee.
“If a kid’s ready and we believe there’s a position there and he has form, we will give the opportunity to play.”
While Carlton are 0-3, Saturday’s loss 11.18 (84) to 16.9 (105) was a much better performance than their defeats to Richmond and West Coast.
They hit back to trail by only 14 points late in the game.
Carlton dominated contested possessions and had four more scoring shots.
But again, their misfiring attack cost them dearly.
“Quite frankly, on four or five occasions, we were dead against our whole system, the way we went (into attack) and where it lobbed,” Malthouse said.
He said Carlton were chasing their tails after Essendon took control in the second term.
“At least we kept on chasing until we tried to turn the game around,” he said.
“We just didn’t capitalise enough on the hard work.”
Malthouse said luck also was not going Carlton’s way.
But he hopes next Saturday’s Anzac Day clash against St Kilda in Wellington will be a tonic for his team.
It will be the first time Malthouse has been involved in an Anzac Day game since he left Collingwood at the end of 2011.
“Anzac Day is such an occasion and to be part of it, you’d hope it brings the best out in both clubs,” he said.
“May the best side win and may it be Carlton.”