CHRIS Judd is sure he and his Carlton teammates will know exactly where they stand under Mick Malthouse, but has warned against expecting all the Blues’ problems to be instantly solved.
Malthouse's reign at Carlton, which begins on Monday, has heightened expectation the Blues are set for great things again and Judd noted on Thursday he had long admired the coach's feat in taking Collingwood to a grand final within three years of first leading the Magpies in 2000.
But after a season in which the Blues lost the ground they had made in 2010-11, missed the finals and sacked Brett Ratten, Judd warned that preparing for an instant climb just because the man at the helm had done it all before would be foolish.
"It's really important we don't view him as a panacea who's going to fix all our problems," Judd said.
"At the end of the day there's 44 players on that list, there's a staff of, I don’t know, 70 or 80 people and it's not up to Mick to come in and solve all the problems at our football club.
"It's up to everyone who's there to work out how they're going to improve on what they've done before, to be accountable and to be a part of the solution. Mick's certainly going to be an important part of that but I think it’s unrealistic to think that he’s going to fix everything."
Captain and coach have spoken, but not face-to-face, and Judd said he wanted to gauge Malthouse's thoughts on Carlton's leadership before outlining whether he wanted the captaincy for a sixth season.
Before Malthouse was appointed coach he said Carlton had to lessen its reliance on Judd, both as skipper and star midfielder. Judd on Thursday said he would wait until the Blues' pre-season trip to Arizona before he spoke about his roles with the coach, although he insisted the side had developed greater depth in the midfield in recent years.
He also insisted Malthouse’s comments did not surprise him, as even dual Brownlow medallists had to consider succession plans. "There comes a time in every player's career where it makes sense for him to move on, whether that’s moving on from the game or moving on from a leadership role to open up opportunities for young people,’’ Judd said. "That’s the nature of football."
Judd had previously encountered Malthouse's legacy when, as a young player at West Coast in 2001, he heard the stories of how clear the coach was in what he wanted, even though he had been gone two years.
"He's a bit more into rule, govern and behaviour. That will be interesting," said Judd, who on Thursday threw his support behind the Care Connect team that will take part in this month’s Corporate Cycling Challenge.
"But his record speaks for itself and I think it's a fantastic time for our footy club."