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Warnock banking on Kreuzer return

Sportal June 4, 2012, 6:10 pm
Matthew Kreuzer

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Carlton ruckman Robert Warnock hopes the likely return of fellow tall Matthew Kreuzer this week will help reverse the Blues' form slump.

Kreuzer succumbed to hamstring tightness and was a late withdrawal from Carlton's drubbing at the hands of Port Adelaide on Saturday night - their third defeat in four matches.

However, Blues coach Brett Ratten confirmed Kreuzer could return against Geelong this Friday night, as well as Lachie Henderson (groin), Nick Duigan (calf) and Jarrad Waite (back).

Carlton, who a little over a month ago were premiership favourites, face the Cats, West Coast in Perth, Hawthorn and Collingwood next up, with their finals hopes potentially on the line.

Big men Warnock, Kreuzer and Shaun Hampson played alongside each other for the first time this season in Round 9 against Melbourne and Warnock hopes the trio will be called upon again.

"We've only tried three talls once and I thought that worked really well," Warnock said on Monday.

"It gave us the structure we needed. You play 'Hammer' (Hampson) deep, Kreuzer at centre half-forward and then rotate through the ruck.

"I thought that lightened the workload for the three of us, so hopefully we can go down that path going forward."

The tall timber combined for 50 hitouts and three goals as Carlton accounted for the Demons by 58 points at the MCG two weeks ago.

Warnock said injuries had played a part in the Blues' recent poor form but was at a loss when trying to pinpoint the reason for their slump.

"We've had injuries, but the guys that come in we expect to play their role and play well," he said.

"We can't narrow it down to one thing."

The Blues were considered genuine premiership contenders after thumping Collingwood in Round 3, but have since been comprehensively defeated by Essendon, St Kilda, Adelaide and most recently the Power.

"That's the great thing about footy - you move on, you get another chance to redeem yourself," Warnock said.

"Hopefully this Friday night we can come out and rectify the loss on the weekend.

"We've got to be on our toes and the next month will give us a clearer picture of where we sit.

"There's a long time between now and the end of the year and we've got to worry about what we can control and hopefully the rest takes care of itself."

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