Carlton cemented their place in the top four after Sunday’s win over Greater Western Sydney and Michael Voss’ troops are looking more and more like the real deal.
The Blues have now won their last three games on the trot to take their tally to seven in the first nine rounds.
However, their triumph against GWS was one of the club’s best of the season. Carlton entered the clash as an underdog, having lost key forward Harry McKay during the week and faced a fiery Giants side looking to dispatch Leon Cameron in style.
But the Blues exploded out of the blocks with the game’s first four goals and crumbled in the final term to kick Majors five to one.
Voss said the club were looking to focus on the process but described Sunday’s game as a “meaningful” win.
“We spent a tremendous amount of time figuring out that how we want to do it is probably even more important than the wins,” he said.
“So we managed to stay in that space and I think we had a pretty measured approach week to week. Whether we won or lost, we tried to keep the environment really consistent.
“But also, you need flags in the ground, you need reference points to be able to build on, and that’s why I guess yesterday was important.
“There were things going on around us that we had to take into consideration, but the way we handled it and the importance of the win made it a really great day.”
The clash at Giants Stadium looked set to follow a similar trend to the start of the season, but Carlton’s dominance in the final quarter proved that processes were improving at Ikon Park.
Voss’ men desperately came close to losing games against Hawthorn and Port Adelaide in Round 3 and 5 respectively, despite holding big leads earlier in the game as they crumbled in the second half.
However, Voss did a lot of work to address this issue, and the results were evident in Round 9.
“We built,” he said.
“I think the difference between the start of the year and even the last three weeks is that we’ve been able to replicate our intensity and stay on task much longer.
“At the start of the year, our best was clearly significant and I walked away from every game (saying), ‘just stick with it a lot longer and stick to our method and our system. ‘.
“Our method of fighting was pretty consistent and that was a point of difference for us, but we were breaking our system on both sides of the ball, both offensively and defensively, we just couldn’t hold it long enough.
“There has been a real significant change in the last two or three weeks. So when you start to get a bit more solid, it always gives you a much better chance against the top teams.
Despite the strong record, the Blues have only faced two top-eight teams (beating Richmond and losing to Fremantle) and will face their next big challenge against Sydney in Round 10.