CARLTON assistant coach Alan Richardson says Brett Ratten still has the support of his players and has praised his resilience during a bruising week.
Ratten, under pressure to retain his job with the spectre of Mick Malthouse looming large, today bypassed his weekly press conference at Visy Park, agreeing with club management it would be best if Richardson fronted the media.
Ratten and chief executive Greg Swann feared the media conference would have turned into a circus similar to what Ratten experienced at Melbourne Airport on Sunday when he and the team returned from a sobering loss to the Gold Coast Suns.
While it wasn’t quite a circus with Richardson, the media today still had only one thing on its mind – Ratten.
The 11-minute press conference featured questions solely about Ratten, with Richardson maintaining the senior coach still had the support of the players despite an “embarrassing” loss to Gold Coast which terminated the club’s hopes of making the finals.
“If you’re asking me do I think the players are supportive of the coaching group and Brett Ratten, I think they’re absolutely supportive,” he said.
Richardson also praised Ratten’s resilience and selflessness during a rugged week in which club president Stephen Kernahan announced a major review of all operations would intensify after Sunday’s clash against St Kilda.
“He (Ratten) is incredibly optimistic and positive about coaching the team to respond to the weekend,” Richardson said.
“In Brett Ratten’s mind right now, from what we see as coaches, it’s about making up for an incredibly disappointing performance.
“It’s got nothing to do with Brett Ratten in terms of his own future.”
Richardson said if the Blues were to beat the Saints and finish with a 12-10 win-loss record they would have enjoyed a “reasonably successful season”.
Richardson also faces future an uncertain future if Malthouse was to take over.
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