Carlton missing finals not a fail: McKay

Reigning Coleman medallist Harry McKay insists Carlton would still consider their 2022 AFL campaign a success even if they failed to make the finals.

Carlton started the year 9-3 and were in the top-four hunt a fortnight ago, before back-to-back losses to Adelaide and Brisbane left them vulnerable to miss the post-season.

Should they lose their final two games to Melbourne and Collingwood, they face the real risk any two of Richmond, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs jumping them into the eight.

But while externally it would appear a capitulation should they miss the finals from such a strong start to the year, McKay said his emerging group wouldn’t view it as such.

“I judge success in terms of our environment that we’ve created,” he told Fox Sports.

“The last couple of years, we’ve probably struggled in terms of culture, environment, putting in a really solid game plan.

“Whatever happens for the rest of the year, that’s outcome-based, but for me as a player that’s been there seven, eight years, this 12 months has been a success and whether that comes a finals or whatever it is, we’ve taken a really big step into the right direction.

“(Coach Michael Voss) talked about it, hopefully it’s a long book and this is just chapter one, we want to finish off the chapter really well but it’s definitely a success.”

While admitting the consecutive losses had shaken the team’s confidence, McKay stressed the importance of quickly regaining composure before two crunch games at the MCG.

The Blues haven’t played in the finals since 2013, with only Ed Curnow from that semi-final among currently listed players.

“The last few weeks have been challenging and after a pretty solid first 16 to 18 rounds, it’s been a little bit disappointing we haven’t been able to play our best football,” McKay said.

“We’re still in a really good position and a really exciting position where (we have) two big games at the MCG to finish the year and a chance to do something we haven’t been able to do in 10 or so years.

Streamed 2 years ago

“Although there’s been a little bit of disappointment over the last couple of weeks, it has shifted over last 24 hours to pretty positive and exciting.”


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