Carlton Concede 2014

There may still be two rounds to go in the AFL home and away season, but Carlton coach Mick Malthouse is already looking towards 2015 for a fresh start.

“You shouldn’t talk about 2015 when 2014 hasn’t even concluded, but we have to now,” Malthouse conceded Wednesday. “This is the start of our next year.”

The premiership coach is set to miss his first finals series in a decade after the Blues handed Geelong an 82-76 win on Friday night, stumbling to a 7-13 record overall.

But nearly a full season into Malthouse’s opening act reshaping the Carlton list, the veteran coach is beginning to see results.

“I know it’s too early to totally reflect, but where we started this season and where we are at the moment … we have improved in areas that are massively important for us to go forward,” Malthouse told members of the media.

The club is on the verge on unveiling an eighth debutant this season, Nick Holman set to replace the injured Dale Thomas, while second-year captain Marc Murphy continues to grow into the role.

“One is the leadership. I think (Murphy) and his team have just developed on a weekly basis and I’ve seen it happen, it’s almost like it’s so tangible.”

“There has been a want from the word go, (but) there is non-acceptance now of mediocrity both in performance and in attitude and in culture.

 “I think the realisation is now that there are a lot of players who understand and are prepared to drive it.”

The Blues almost certainly face further roster turnover this summer and established veterans Jeff Garlett and Mitch Robinson have just a couple of weeks to demonstrate their value with both coming out of club-imposed suspensions for their involvement in an early morning Melbourne nightclub altercation.

Carlton finish off the season with games against Port Adelaide away and Essendon at the MCG in the coming weeks, with finals spots on the line for both opponents.  

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images