Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney Photo: Ken Irwin
The Carlton crisis is not taking up too much of Western Bulldogs' coach Brendan McCartney's time.
AFL fans and media in Melbourne have been buzzing this week with discussions about the winless Blues, semi-finalists from last year who face the Bulldogs in Sunday's round-five game at Etihad Stadium.
The Bulldogs are 2-2 and are shooting for three consecutive wins, something they haven't achieved since 2011.
McCartney, who has guided his club to a 9-9 record since round eight 2013, says the opposition is irrelevant to him.
"It's how we play that's critical to us," McCartney told reporters on Thursday.
"It has probably got a little bit more in it this week, because it's unusual. We're going into a game where about 0.1 per cent of it's going to be about us in the build-up.
"We don't mind not being centre stage. We're just going to prepare.
"There's still four points on offer for us too this week. We'd like to think we can get them as well."
The one-game suspension of former All-Australian Dale Morris will test the Bulldogs' backline depth, however McCartney is confident things are going in the right direction.
"We're tracking along okay. We're not doing anything brilliantly well," he said.
"We're becoming a good, solid footy team.
"Since about round eight or nine last year we've probably won about half our games.
"That's almost a full season so that's a nice progression.
"But the second you get comfortable with that, you get a kick in the backside."
The Bulldogs' 27-point win over Greater Western Sydney in Canberra last week was a pleasing result for the third-year coach, although the sandy, patchy playing surface wasn't quite to his liking.
"We're hopeful that we don't get a spin-off with soft-tissue injuries. It wasn't an ideal surface," he said.
"We probably wouldn't want to play too many games on that."