Carlton go to school on AFL heartbreaker

Brendon Bolton says Carlton will be well-equipped if it gets close against the Western Bulldogs.
Brendon Bolton says Carlton will be well-equipped if it gets close against the Western Bulldogs.

If Carlton's AFL clash with the Western Bulldogs goes down to the wire, the Blues should be better equipped to deal with a pressure-cooker situation than they were in their unforgivable loss to Gold Coast..

Coach Brendon Bolton has revealed his gutted players went to school on their error-riddled final minutes of the two-point heart-breaker against the Suns.

The loss was their fourth in a row and consigned them to the bottom of the ladder as the only winless team left in the competition after four rounds.

"The players actually sat together and watched the last four minutes," Bolton said of the aftermath of the tight loss.

"There was a lot of ownership around that and conversations on what we can do differently and better.

"We thought our contested numbers and tackles were quite strong, but the last four minutes are not where we wanted it to be.

"Our mid-forward connection is a work in progress ... if we keep competing at the level at one point it will break (our way)."

The Blues have scored the fewest points this season and are on a 59-game streak without scoring more than 100 points that dates to round 11, 2016.

"We don't get down on that, we just get determined to work on it," Bolton said.

"We're not making any excuses for the results but it's a really new (forward) group that's learning how to play together.

"In terms of the scoring, all we really care about is if we're in front at the end."

The Blues will be boosted by the inclusion of ruckman Matthew Kreuzer for their clash with the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

The 29-year-old has been cleared to play his first game of the season after being slowed by knee surgery in January.

"The Bulldogs are a good at loose-ball, hard-ball and ground-ball gets around the contest and Kreuz will add to that (for us) because he's like another onballer," the coach said.

Cameron Polson and Jack Silvagni were also included in the line-up, with Matthew Lobbe and Levi Casboult dropped with Will Setterfield suspended.

The Dogs gave AFL debuts to Will Hayes and Lachie Young, with Bailey Williams also included to replace injured pair Taylor Duryea and Matt Suckling, while Josh Schache was dropped.

Australian Associated Press