K rock Football

Cripps back under-fire Teague

Carlton coach David Teague. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

Carlton star Patrick Cripps has thrown his support behind under-fire coach David Teague as the Blues’ AFL season goes from bad to worse.

A campaign which began with so much promise after snaring high-profile recruits Adam Saad and Zac Williams has quickly capitulated.

At 4-9, it would take a historic resurgence for Carlton to make the finals for the first time since 2013, and that has placed pressure on Teague.

Teague was a popular appointment after having success as a caretaker coach in 2019, but Blues supporters are growing restless in wanting the former powerhouse club to return to its former glory.

Co-captain Cripps was adamant Carlton would stick together and referred to the end of 2019 as inspiration when the Blues went 6-5 after Teague took over from former coach Brendon Bolton.

“I’ve seen teams turn things around quickly,” he said.

“I’ve been in a position before and I’ve seen how we can play good footy in the back half of the year.

“When I say as a group, I mean that as coaches and footy staff as well. Clubs are unified, they stick together.

“Teaguey and the coaching staff is working as hard as us as players and they would be just as frustrated as we are.

“When you’re in places like this it’s easy to point to one person but footy is a collective group and we’re all taking responsibility for where we are the moment, it’s not just on Teaguey.”

Teague described Carlton as being in a “real pit” after their 36-point defeat to GWS on Saturday, a game where the Giants laid 37 more tackles.

Incoming president Luke Sayers has ordered a mid-season external review of the football department and Cripps wants every person in the club to benefit from that.

“I want everyone to get some feedback on their review and I think everyone will be open to that,” Cripps said.

The important midfielder remains out-of-contract at season’s end but Cripps said it was only a matter of time before he re-signs.

Star forward Harry McKay’s two-year contract extension was announced by the club last week.

“We’re still working through it. I’ve said all along I’m happy at the club,” Cripps said.

“Just working out a few minor details so myself and the club are on the same page.”

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