Blues' AFL critics not fooling Brisbane

·2-min read

Chris Fagan has urged his Brisbane side not to underestimate Carlton after a week of what he believes has been "somewhat unfair" criticism aimed at the Victorian AFL club.

While Fagan's Lions are back on track after a big win over Essendon, the Blues have been smashed by prominent commentators through the media after last week's home defeat to flag fancies Port Adelaide.

Chief among the critics has been club legend Mark Maclure, who accused the Blues of being "too nice" and lacking competitiveness.

But Fagan insists he has been impressed by Carlton, who he noted have recorded strong wins over Fremantle and Gold Coast this season, and was quick to point out the Blues were within touching distance of both Richmond and Collingwood at three-quarter time in their opening two matches.

Brisbane and Carlton both enter Saturday's twilight clash at Marvel Stadium with 2-3 records, hovering just outside the top eight.

"I don't make of Carlton what everybody else is making of them this week, that's for sure," Fagan said.

"They've copped a little bit of criticism, I think somewhat unfairly ... they copped some criticism about their performance last week, but I look at it and they had more shots at goal than Port Adelaide.

"They're 2-3, we're 2-3, and they're going pretty well.

"We've got a lot of respect for them and how they're going about things and we expect the game on the weekend to be a really tough game."

Tom Williamson, Matthew Kennedy and last week's unused substitute Paddy Dow have been left out of the Blues' 22 - all have been named as emergencies - while David Cunningham and Liam Stocker have been recalled.

Ruckman Oscar McInerney has been given the green light for Brisbane after an ankle concern but Jarrod Berry (adductor) has been replaced by Deven Robertson.

The Lions, who reached a preliminary final last year, endured a rocky start to this season and spent a difficult period away from home after a COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland.

But the 57-point thumping of Essendon in tough conditions last week buoyed Fagan, with boom recruit Joe Daniher and Lachie Neale among a long list of Lions who took found form.

"The improvement came from us last week," Fagan said.

"That's as well as we've performed as a team and we need to keep that going.

"It was a good step in the right direction."

Fagan said Brisbane had played a "dry-weather brand (of football) in the wet" last week and will have no issues adapting to the protected environment under the Marvel Stadium roof, where they registered a heart-stopping one-point win over Collingwood in round three.