Gary Ablett of the Cats is tackled (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Gary Ablett of the Cats is tackled (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Cats coach responds to Ablett criticism

GEELONG coach Chris Scott says the Cats have been happy with the role Gary Ablett plays within their side.

Ablett came under scrutiny after a poor performance in the win against Sydney, where he had just 17 disposals and two tackles.

His premiership teammate Cameron Mooney was asked whether Ablett had made Geelong better - and offered a frank response.

"No, he hasn't. Not right now," Mooney said.

"And he hasn't been playing great footy. He's not giving himself to the team. Just those little things.

"And until he does that he won't improve the team."

But on Monday, Scott said Geelong was happy with Ablett, noting he found it "amusing" that after the Cats had previously been criticised for being too reliant on individuals, those individuals were now being criticised themselves.

Geelong's Gary Ablett. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Geelong's Gary Ablett. Picture. Phil Hillyard

"I haven't really heard it so I've read some of it but I want to be careful that I don't miss the context in which those comments were made," Scott said.

"We're really happy with the role he's playing for us. I mean, I must admit, sometimes I find it a little bit amusing that we go from being too dependent on one or two midfielders to now having a group of players that are performing well as a unit. But then we go back to criticism of individuals.

"I think Gary's 34, he's played, we've been really happy with the role he's played for us this year, he's played some games that have been better than others. But his commitment to play the role that we ask of him is first class.

"I don't think he's playing as well as he played when he was 29 or 30 but I think that's a pretty logical expectation."

Scott said while he hadn't discussed any criticism with Ablett, he was confident the veteran could perform under scrutiny.

"I think he's philosophical about it. You've got to take the good with the bad. He's one of the best players of all time so he's had his fair share of plaudits over the years," Scott said.

"I don't really talk to him too much about it. I mean, I suspect he's certainly not an avid follower of the AFL media so I think if he does hear it, I think he's got enough confidence in his own ability to play well in spite of any criticism.

"I suspect that means we're in a pretty good place if he's the biggest problem we've got at the moment."