Carlton have failed an audit as the Blues seek to nail down a first AFL finals appearance in nine years.
The Blues were humbled by premiership favourites Geelong on Saturday night, losing to the ladder-leaders by 30 points at the MCG.
Carlton have come a long way in their first season under Michael Voss following almost a decade of misery but the performance against the Cats was somewhat of a reality check.
The result leaves the Blues (11-6) in seventh with at least two wins from their remaining five matches to guarantee a top-eight berth.
Carlton have struggling GWS next Sunday, before rounding out the home-and-away season with games against Adelaide, the Brisbane Lions, Melbourne and Collingwood.
“Sometimes out of the loss it can give you great clarity on what you still have to build and make stronger,” Voss said.
“Clearly, we played against a side that was well drilled, that execute really well and understand each other exceptionally well and we’re still young in there.
“We’ll walk out with a little bit more clarity on what we need to continue to get better at.”
Reigning Coleman medallist Harry McKay endured a frustrating night as young Geelong defender Sam De Koning dominated the Blues forward.
Charlie Curnow stepped up in McKay’s absence with three goals but Geelong’s star forwards Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron combined more effectively.
“Sometimes you’ve got to keep turning up in the right spots, even if it’s not your day,” Voss said of McKay.
“I think there’s a lot that I could say that about that, that we didn’t stick at it enough
“I thought across the board we we sort of felt that sometimes you just got to stick at it a bit longer when things don’t go your way.”
Carlton could be boosted by the return of ruckman Marc Pittonet and defender Mitch McGovern after the pair played in the Blues’ VFL game following extended absences on the sideline.