Blues coach Voss backs McKay to find goalkicking form

·3-min read

Carlton coach Michael Voss is backing Harry McKay to rediscover his top goalkicking form even after the Blues paid a high price for failing to convert their chances in the 26-point loss to Sydney.

McKay was one of several Blues that misfired in front of goal as the 2021 Coleman medallist finished with 0.3 in the 11.11 (77) to 6.15 (51) defeat to the Swans at the SCG on Friday.

Voss conceded that McKay is "in a rough spot with his finishing" but intends to support the 200cm key forward who has now booted 14.16 for the season.

But prominent AFL commentator Leigh Matthews was blistering in his criticism of McKay and Blues captain Patrick Cripps, saying they have fallen off the perch.

"Nobody goes to work on his game more than 'H'. He's an absolute professional in the way he goes about things," Voss said.

"Right now he's in a rough spot with his finishing.

"We'll throw our arms around him, support him. Absolutely we will."

McKay again varied his approach to set shots between a drop punt and snap but appeared to settle on the more conventional approach early against the Swans.

When McKay sent two drop punts through for behinds he turned to a left-foot snap from a tricky angle that ended with the same result.

"He'll work through this period of time in his footy and ultimately down the track he'll learn a lot about himself and what the ultimate technique is that he wants to go with," Voss said.

"But he's obviously in a tough spot at the moment, so we'll support him as best we can and we'll look at all things to be able to help that but also it speaks to the larger efficiency that we need to build into our game."

The Blues' other highly-touted key forward Charlie Curnow was dominant in the air and gathered six contested marks as he threatened to rip the game apart but was also wasteful and finished with 1.3.

While the pair of Coleman medallists suffered from wayward kicking against the Swans the problems appear to run through a Blues line-up that's booted a combined 21.41 in their past three matches.

"The two biggest factors in the game for us were our shots on goal, we couldn't finish our work. Then we lost a little bit of personnel late, so that obviously stretched us," Voss said.

"We certainly feel like we got plenty of opportunities.

"We can't ignore it. We need to get after it, it's an area of our game that we need to get better."

Matthews said McKay and 2022 Brownlow Medal winner Cripps were noticeably off their top form.

"Patrick Cripps is a shadow now of where he was for most of last year. Harry McKay is an even less of a shadow of what he had been. He's just completely shot," Matthews told 3AW.

"In terms of a couple of their primary weapons those two have fallen off the perch - just the last few weeks."