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Carlton coach Michael Voss has thrown his support behind Harry McKay while the forward battles his goalkicking woes after a night where the Blues’ loss to Sydney was compounded by carnage on the injury front.
Staring at a 10th consecutive season without finals, the Blues have problems all over the park after a fourth loss in a row, this time to a Swans side that was missing its three best tall defenders and All-Australian midfielder Callum Mills.
The Blues could be without three of their best midfielders, including skipper Patrick Cripps, for their crucial clash against Melbourne on Friday night.
George Hewett (concussion) and defender Nic Newman (hamstring) will not be available, and there are injury doubts over Cripps (ankle) and youngster Ollie Hollands (shoulder).
They are also sweating on the match review officer’s ruling on a potential dangerous tackle by star onballer Adam Cerra, who has been one of the club’s few shining lights in a disappointing campaign.
McKay’s worries were written all over his face after each of the 2021 Coleman medallist’s four misses in a game where the Blues’ inaccurate kicking for goal stymied their hopes of a backs-to-the-wall victory.
Harry McKay is misfiring in front of goal.Credit: AFL Photos
Fluctuating between the traditional drop punt and the new-age set-shot snap, McKay finished with three behinds. A fourth shot failed to trouble the scorers.
“Nobody goes to work on his game more than H. He’s an absolute professional in the way he goes about things,” Voss said of McKay on Friday night.
“Right now, he’s in a rough spot with his finish. We’ll throw our arms around him and support him – absolutely we will. He’ll work through this period of time in his footy, and ultimately down the track he’ll learn a lot about himself and what the ultimate technique he wants to go with.
“He’s in a tough spot at the moment. We’ll support him as best we can. We’ll look at all things to try and help that.”
Western Bulldogs great Brad Johnson said McKay’s issues were not difficult to remedy.
“It looks simple. His plant foot is crooked, and his hips are following. For me, it’s simple to watch and simple to fix,” Johnson said on SEN.
The Blues kicked 6.15 from 59 entries inside 50, taking their score from the past three games to a wayward 21.41. Even Charlie Curnow, who is normally reliable in front of goal, was off his radar with 1.3, preventing him from having a dominant game.
“It speaks to the larger efficiency we need to build in our game,” Voss said. “It’s not at the required standard. It’s certainly not the best version of us.
“It’s a part of our game we need to work on and get to work on pretty quick.”
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