Teague coy on Betts’ future as calls loom on veterans

David Teague maintains Eddie Betts remains in Carlton's best 22 but stopped short of publicly guaranteeing the iconic small forward a spot on the Blues' list next year.

Betts could conceivably have just one match left in his AFL career after Carlton tumbled out of the finals race on Sunday. A 16-point loss to bottom-of-the-ladder Adelaide at Metricon Stadium, coupled with the Western Bulldogs' win over Hawthorn, condemned the Blues to a seventh successive season out of the finals.

Eddie Betts has kicked just three goals from his last eight games.Credit:Getty Images

"He started the season well. Our scoring's dropped away. When we were getting the ball in there quicker he was more dangerous," Teague said.

"He still plays an important role. His pressure's still been quite strong. We'll just have to have a look at that as we go forward and we get a bit more understanding of list sizes and to manage that. But he's still playing a role, he's still in our best 22 at the moment."

Teague meanwhile bemoaned his side's lack of consistency after another horror first half left them 44 points down at the long break.

"Today, we let our fans down. We've got to keep working hard. This group are training hard but attention to detail, ability to be ruthless on each other and to be able to do it for four quarters and drive the standard, that's our next step," Teague said.

"Clearly where we are on the ladder for a reason and the results have gone the way they have because our ability to execute for four quarters is not there so we need to step that up and be more ruthless in terms of our ability to get the job done for longer periods of the game."

Teague also paid tribue to retiring ex-Blue Bryce Gibbs, who was chaired off by long-time teammates Simpson and Marc Murphy in a move which the coach admitted caused some raised eyebrows.

"It was weird. I get it," Teague said.

"There's a little part of me that thought, 'oh I'm not sure about this to be honest. But he obviously played more games with those two than anyone on Adelaide's list. I thought it was nice. I thought Bryce played quite well today. Bryce deserved that. He's given this footy club a fair bit."

Co-captain Sam Docherty is in doubt for the Lions game with a shoulder injury. Docherty was sidelined early in Sunday's loss.

Crows coach Matthew Nicks was rapt with his team's showing following a third straight win.

"It was a really solid effort, against a good side." he said.

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