Brett Ratten
Brett Ratten

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has laid down the challenge to his side to build on Friday night's backs-to-the-wall victory over Collingwood at the MCG.

With just two wins to their name from the last eight games and with their coach having sustained an avalanche of pressure throughout the week, the Blues produced their most inspired win of the season in a 23-point victory over the ladder-leading Magpies.

The Blues defied the odds in every way as they overcame a first-quarter knee injury to Shaun Hampson and a third-term concussion to Kade Simpson to take the four points through some of the best pressure footy the club has produced all year.

"The way we played the game I thought was outstanding," Ratten said.

"I thought our effort and our intensity to maintain that for four quarters was brilliant and it's always nice against the arch enemy but at the end of the day, that's how we want to play football and that was really pleasing.

"I think the challenge is now backing this performance up," he added.

"Against Hawthorn (in a 50-point loss last week) we thought we were fairly average defensively and then we just fell away in aspects of the game, so this is our challenge to maintain this level of intensity and commitment."

Throughout a week of intense media focus over whether he would even see out the season, Ratten has remained a calm presence, although there were hints throughout his post-match press conference that he wasn't overly impressed with some of the comments.

"Chris Judd has brought a lot of things to our football club," Ratten said.

"But he's taught me one lesson in regards to, especially early doors as a coach, the balance of life and trying to keep it also level.

"I'm not really fussed what they write or say or do, at the end of the day, I worry what happens within our four walls.

"It would hurt me really deeply if those things were said about the group ... (by someone) who doesn't have all the information, doesn't know what happens in our football club but are allowed to make comments.

"Sometimes our performance is below par and we deserve the criticism from that point of view but sometimes there are circumstances in that."

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley felt that such a loss had been brewing over the last few weeks as the Magpies compiled a run of 10 consecutive wins since being beaten by Carlton back in Round 3.

"There have been patches in our recent weeks that we were looking to improve on and (ones) that we probably gave the opposition a look," Buckley said.

"We've sort of been getting what we want 75-80 percent of the game and allowing the opposition in for the rest of it.

"We probably got what we want for 15-20 percent of the game tonight and allowed the opposition to dictate the rest."


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