The door remains ajar for Adelaide to feature in finals this season, but defender Luke Brown says the Crows are firmly focused on Sunday’s battle against fellow finals aspirant Collingwood at the MCG.
Adelaide sits in 10th position on the AFL ladder, a win behind the eighth-placed Magpies with six games remaining in the minor round.
The Crows have won three of their past five games as the Club makes a late charge towards September, but Brown said the team’s total focus remains on this weekend’s crunch match against the Pies.
“We have to take it one week at a time now, there’s no point looking ahead,” Brown said.
“This game is just really for us and every game is important from hereon in. We can’t really afford to drop too many.”
Round 18 has already seen two top-eight teams fall in North Melbourne and Fremantle. Geelong, Port Adelaide and Essendon also survived scares in what looms as a finals-defining split round.
Brown said the evenness of the competition meant that it was easy for teams to be caught out in the latter stages of the season.
“We can’t really focus on ‘what ifs’, it’s just taking care of what we can and that’s playing our own game at the moment.
“Everyone is still focused on the job at hand and we’ve been playing some good footy in the past month or so.
“We’re just looking forward to Collingwood and showing what we can do.”
The Magpies suffered their second-worst loss of the season against Essendon a fortnight ago. Collingwood’s score of 39 points was the Club’s lowest total in almost two decades.
Brown said the Crows could not be lulled by the Pies’ recent challenges.
“They’ve got a lot of talent throughout the midfield (and up) forward and down back,” Brown said.
“They’ve been inconsistent the last month or so - a bit like us lately.
“But we are really aware that they are a dangerous team and have a lot of good players who can step up.”
After a breakout 2013 season, which saw Brown play 21 games and earn an AFL Rising Star nomination in the final round, the unassuming 21-year-old has continued to rise in 2014.
The reliable backman has played every game for the Crows this season, and is fast-becoming one of the most effective shutdown players in the competition.
Brown said the next step in his development was to add more flair to his sound defensive game.
“I think I’ve been pretty consistent this year,” he said.
“I’ve had a few roles throughout the year and I’ve been able to do them pretty well. The next part of my game is to take it on offensively a bit more, and having more of a balance of offense and defence.
“But defensively, I think I’ve been pretty good this year.”