Carlton captain Patrick Cripps is ready for the challenge of taking on the top-of-the-table Magpies this weekend, confident the Blues can turn around their season.

Currently sitting in ninth position, Carlton have lost four of their last five games and are now facing increased scrutiny as a tenth consecutive season without finals footy looms.

Speaking on Tuesday, Cripps said that he believed his side was "close" to playing their best football, adamant that there is still plenty of time to work their way into the eight.

"We feel like we're close to playing our best footy," Cripps said.

"We feel like there's a lot of growth coming in our game but were coming in with our heads up and trying to get better.

"The opportunities have been there but it was execution ... Probably the story of our year.

"The effort and intensity have been there... we fought our way back and I'm proud of the group.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Blake Acres of the Blues looks dejected after a draw during the 2023 AFL Round 01 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 16, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"I wouldn't say we're in a rut. We've been beaten by some good sides and we haven't quite clicked, but I feel like every week we're growing.

"The game is just telling us we're not quite there ... but I feel like we're close. That's what I'm going to keep preaching to the boys - we have to get better.

"We have to stay upbeat."

The Blues will now face old rivals Collingwood in Round 10, hoping to hand the Pies just their second defeat of the season. A large crowd is expected when the two face off on Sunday afternoon, with tough matches to come against Sydney, Essendon and Melbourne after.

"We're right near the eight, we have some really tough opponents coming up, but as competitors you want the best sides," Cripps said.

"If we're going to compete at the end of the year, these are the games you want to play in.

"We're definitely on the way up."

The two sides meet for the first time since Round 23's thriller last year, which saw Collingwood come back in the final term to quash the Blues' finals aspirations, with Cripps confident his side has "moved on" from the one-point loss.

"I think the group has moved on from that but I'd say when you play big team and big rivals, you love playing in these games," Cripps said.

"It will be a fierce contest, packed MCG and it will be on."

Collingwood and Carlton will meet on Sunday at 3:20pm AEST at the MCG.