DUMPED Carlton coach Brett Ratten says the Blues should not lower their high expectations under his replacement, Mick Malthouse.
But Ratten, a former Blues captain and premiership player, warned that setting too high a bar was the club's greatest weakness.
Carlton sacked Ratten - who declared at the start of the season that the club would be a top-four lock - after the Blues plummeted down the ladder and suffered a 12-point loss to league newcomer Gold Coast.
''The old saying is you play with fire, you get burnt. That's the [AFL] environment,'' Ratten told SEN.
''You know fully well when you get in there that you are going to be under enormous pressure and scrutiny, and especially at a club like Carlton that cops a lot of media focus and there is a lot of expectation.
''That expectation should never wane from the football club because it's been one of its greatest strengths, but also behind the scenes that can be its greatest weakness because it does put some … stress and pressure, not really on the coach but also on the playing group.''
Ratten said he had no ill-feeling towards Malthouse and maintained that president Stephen Kernahan and chief executive Greg Swann had been open with him throughout his tenure at Princes Park.
''We always had a footy subcommittee meeting with Greg, [vice president] Richard Newton, 'Sticks' [Kernahan] and [director] Adrian Gleeson,'' he said. ''We always caught up and had a chat about where the team was. I was very fortunate to get to coach the club that I played at and, through I suppose circumstances and not achieving what we wanted to, my time came to an end.''
Ratten said the club battled with injuries this season, having 19 post-season operations compared with 10 the year before. But he said the club had emerged stronger and should maintain its lofty ambitions into next season. ''I don't think they should lower that expectation just because you changed the coach. It's the same playing list.''
Ratten said he still was hungry to coach and would meet Port Adelaide next week.