CARLTON caretaker coach David Teague has asked Blues fans to show patience towards underperforming AFL star Mitch McGovern.
McGovern has kicked just 17 goals from 12 games since joining Carlton from Adelaide this season and the highly-paid forward has come under criticism from Blues legend Mark Maclure.
Teague defended McGovern after Maclure questioned the 24-year-old’s work ethic. Teague backed McGovern to reach his potential and said he was playing a role few could see.
“He’s been really good for us for periods of this year, he’s probably not performing at the level that he would love to perform at but while he’s still playing a role for the team he’ll get a game,” Teague said.
“He has to continue to grow on his fitness and his chemistry with other guys around him. He hasn’t been able to get out on the training track a lot this year because he’s had a few injuries, so hopefully he can get over those and when he starts training well I have no doubt (in his ability).
“He’s a very good player and what he brings in a leadership capacity is probably not seen to others. But he’ll deliver a lot more over time and I think Carlton fans should be really excited if they remain patient.
“He’s pretty strong-willed, he’s got some stubbornness about him which is good in these situations. Mitch understands what he has to do.”
The Blues won just one of their opening 11 games this season, but Teague has a 2-1 record since replacing sacked coach Brendon Bolton last month.
Carlton have the chance to leapfrog Melbourne into 16th on the ladder when they host the Demons at the MCG on Sunday.
“Everyone is obviously excited, the club has been starved of success and to have a couple of wins in three weeks is nice but it’s the belief of the playing group,” Teague said.
“Talking to them you can see they believe they can compete at this level and that’s our challenge going forward.
“The performances previous I think there were some good signs, but I think right now the players are playing with a belief.
“Belief is a powerful thing, you can talk about belief but until you do it out there, that’s where the true belief comes and I think they’re starting to feel that.”
© AAP 2019