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Jack Silvagni was disappointed to be axed from Carlton's best-22 but Blues coach Michael Voss has backed the versatile tall to return better than ever.
Carlton coach Michael Voss is hoping Jack Silvagni's surprise axing will push the versatile Blues tall to become better.
The 24-year-old was a shock omission for Carlton's trip to face the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
Silvagni has produced arguably the most consistent campaign of his seven-season career, playing a valuable role up forward and as a back-up ruckman.
But with experienced ruckman Marc Pittonet having recovered from a long-term knee injury, Silvagni is the unlucky player to make way.
"It's pretty clear that we've decided to play the two rucks, and that means one of them (Tom De Koning or Pittonet) is going to have to spend more time forward," Voss told reporters on Friday.
"There was obvious disappointment (from Silvagni).
"Whenever you talk to a player saying they're not in the team, there's obvious disappointment.
"But he appreciates that we're in a healthy position and hopefully in our experience, it pushes people to be better again."
The clash with the struggling Crows is a crucial one for Carlton to ensure they lock in a finals berth for the first time since 2013.
The seventh-placed Blues face top-four teams the Brisbane Lions, Melbourne and Collingwood in their final three home-and-away season matches.
A win against Adelaide will all but guarantee Carlton's place in September, ending almost a decade of torment for Blues faithful.
It is possible Carlton could jump inside the top-four by the end of this weekend, but could be in danger of missing the finals altogether should they be upset by the Crows.
"It's really difficult for me to speculate on other years: I've only got this year to work with," Voss said.
"We also know there's another level we can go to.
If we're able to find that, we can challenge any opposition... we've still got a fair bit of work to do as a footy team."