AAP AFL

Blues plotting AFL ambush for Kade Simpson

By AAP Newswire

Carlton coach Brendon Bolton has defended their past month as he plots an AFL ambush to honour Kade Simpson's 300th game.

Simpson will become only the fifth Carlton player to reach the milestone in Saturday's MCG clash against Port Adelaide.

The Power are coming off three big home wins and will start clear favourites.

While Port are top-four contenders, the Blues are last with only one win.

A fortnight ago, Carlton were woeful in the first half against Fremantle, but rallied last Sunday with a fighting loss to Collingwood.

Bolton said immediately after the Magpies clash that the Blues are determined to honour Simpson's big day with a memorable win.

He also bristled on Friday when it was put to him that the Fremantle and Collingwood losses showed the extremes of their performance.

Bolton noted they had also shown improvement in losses to Sydney and Geelong.

"The last month has been pretty consistent - Sydney, Geelong, Collingwood," he said abruptly

"The half against Fremantle was unacceptable."

Bolton said a key for Carlton would be to stop Port's big bodies taking control in the midfield and giving their forwards easy supply.

Another challenge will be the turnover of players they have had in defence.

The Blues made five changes for Saturday's game, with captain and star midfielder Marc Murphy leading the recalls.

"We need to bring similar defensive efforts that we did last week against Collingwood - that gives a chance," Bolton said.

"The speed in which they can gel as a backline will be critical for us this week and going into the back half of the year."

Bolton calls Simpson a heart and soul player and said the defender's photo this week with the other Carlton 300 gamers - Craig Bradley, John Nicholls, Bruce Doull and Steve Silvagni - was a highlight.

"That photo with the five together was just extraordinary ... a photo for the ages," Bolton said.

The coach noted that when Simmo 300 T-shirts went on sale in the club shop, Simpson's teammates bought them up.

"Being someone so humble and quiet - when he's in a team meeting, he's not quiet, he just oozes passion," Bolton said.

"When he's on the ground or in breaks, he's not quiet, he's a fierce competitor.

"It's a big week and it's about our players inspiring Simmo this week, not Simmo inspiring them."