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ET: Team defence crucial

Carlton will put a strong focus on team defence in a bid to minimise the impact of North forward Ben Brown on Saturday night.

Brown, who has ten goals to his name despite a goalless Round 1, looms as a big threat, and the Blues will do everything they can to put a halt to his red-hot streak.

Carlton assistant coach John Barker says every player needs to play a role in order to stop the Tasmanian-born forward.

“We’ve got a strong team defence that we rely on,” Barker said.

“We need to make sure our midfield and our forwards are putting on enough pressure to adequately assist our defenders.”

Liam Jones is highly likely to be assigned the task on Brown, and Barker says he’ll need assistance from his teammates to keep him in check.

“Jonesy’s been competitive in good patches,” he said.

“One thing I’ll say about Jonesy is that what happens in our backline, is often a result of the amount of pressure that occurs up the field.

“We play a strong team defence, so we don’t want to be reliant on any one person to shut one opposition player down.

“There’s a real requirement for our midfielders to apply enough pressure so we disrupt the supply that goes to Ben.

“They’ve got a number of fairly significant targets forward of the ball, so we’ve got a fairly strong defensive mindset for all of them.”

The battle in the middle has caught the attention of Barker, who is looking forward to seeing two of the competition's best ruckman, in Todd Goldstein and Matthew Kreuzer, going head-to-head.

“I think they’re both great ruckman, both strong contested players and they both run, so I think it’s going to be a great contest and I think everyone’s looking forward to it, including us [Carlton coaches],” Barker said.

Barker is aware of North’s strong record at Blundstone Arena, and understands the quality of opposition the Blues will face this weekend.

“North’s a very competitive outfit, and we know that tomorrow night is going to pose a very significant challenge.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs