Bolton upbeat despite Blues AFL injuries

Melissa Woods

Carlton coach Brendon Bolton feels there's blue skies ahead despite losing another key player in Matthew Kreuzer to injury for their MCG clash with West Coast on Saturday.

Ruckman Kreuzer has succumbed to a niggling groin injury to join skipper Marc Murphy (foot) on the sidelines, along with Jacob Weitering (groin) Matthew Kennedy (ankle).

Despite their heavy loss to North last round where the Blues fielded 10 players aged under 21, morale in the winless camp remained high ahead of the clash with the second-placed Eagles.

"You can't replace those players but the morale is high because there's such a lot of opportunity in this game and a few reasons to play well," Bolton said on Friday.

"You can turn your mind to that negative space or you go 'how is this going to help us now and into the future?'

"Undoubtedly we're seeing a lot of our first and second-year players out there but these opportunities pay you back.

"You're looking into the future of what it can be and that's always blue skies isn't it?"

Bolton said that Kreuzer was close to playing but given his injury history they decided a rest was best.

He felt that back-up ruckman Andrew Phillips would be up to the huge task of handling West Coast's Nic Naitanui.

"He's a really good jumper in and around the centre bounce," Bolton said of 26-year-old Phillips.

"We think he holds his own in the ruck but it's going to be an enormous task for him.

"I think you don't need to judge how much he beats him one-to-one, but we just need a nil-all draw in that area probably."

Exciting young forward Harry McKay was named for the first time this season, with Bolton joking he had been regularly knocking on his door for a chance.

He warned the Blues faithful not to expect too much of the 20-year-old.

"He's got an appetite in the air, he's a strong contested mark player and he's got agility for a big guy," Bolton said.

"But bear in mind he's playing the most difficult position, which is full-forward or centre half-forward.

"He's so new because he just hasn't had a lot of continuity due to injuries so you'll see some exciting things, but you'll probably also see some areas that he needs to grow with and that's typical of our list profile in terms of age and experience."